Central Football Unit Independent Advisory Group (IAG)
Report from meeting attended on 28 October 2019 at 18:00
Minutes of last meeting
Ann Ramage, who was Chair of Hammersmith and Fulham Safety Advisory Group and attended a previous meeting of the IAG is now member of the Sports Grounds Safety Authority. She is in favour of supporters feeding into their relevant Safety Advisory Groups and she is willing to offer the IAG further advice.
Discussion of standing items
Survey of officers at sample game
There was discussion around the value of tangible data for the IAG. Amanda Jacks felt this would enable the IAG to be effective in joint working with Metropolitan Police.
- DH to discuss with Fulham Designated Police Officer re gathering information.
- Amanda Jacks to draw up questions for survey and share with DH. Any questions to be agreed by senior police officers.
The “Enable” project led by Keele University was discussed. It was felt the IAG could be considered as part of an Enabling approach.
- AJ to meet with Metropolitan Police on Enable to discuss if and how to link it with the IAG.
- AJ to invite those leading the Enable project to the IAG meeting in order to share information with attendees.
The use of dispersal notices at Chelsea was seen as an effective means of disrupting touts and there was discussion about the use of ticket spotters to report offences.
- A sub-committee will be formed with Designated Police Officer for West Ham to lead.
- LL asked for volunteers interested in joining sub-committee to let her know asap.
Procedures on ejection of supporters
Question posed – if the police obtain details from a supporter without witnessing the reasons for ejection, what happens to the details taken?
DH confirmed ejection from a ground is a civil matter (breaking ground regulations) not a criminal matter. Details should not be demanded. DH confirmed any details taken by the police will be reviewed then, if not required, deleted. Stewards should not be using physical force to remove supporters who have been ejected as this could be considered assault.
DH confirmed the Metropolitan Police has absolutely no plans to use facial recognition although individual football clubs may choose to use this technology.
DH confirmed the Metropolitan Police will not allow their information to go onto any system put in place by football clubs.
The meeting was informed there is a private company contacting all Premier League clubs hawking facial recognition technology.
Initiative on young supporters
It was pointed out that while many clubs do a lot of intervention work with young people in the communities around their grounds, not as much activity takes place with young football fans.
Often the default position for dealing with young fans engaging in anti-social behaviour is a club ban. However, Manchester United have been giving young fans the choice of doing voluntary work.
- DH to send the DFO summary on how to work with problematic young fans to trusts and ISAs.
- Trusts and ISAs will approach their parent clubs to ask if they would be happy to work with problematic fans in principle.
Arrest statistics shared with meeting
Any other business
Fulham Supporters Trust is working with their SAG.
Date of next meeting
29/11/19: This will be a special meeting of the IAG with racism and discrimination as focus.