Number: D 0900 Date Published: 19 December 2019 Version 7 – December 2019
1.0 Summary of Changes
On its yearly review this policy has been amended to update the owner and author details.
2.0 What this Policy is About
This policy describes the approach adopted by Essex Police in respect of the Policing of Football Events. While primarily focussed on Football League fixtures involving Colchester United Football Club and Southend United Football Club the principles set out will be equally applicable to fixtures occurring at other venues, which by virtue of the Football (Offences) Act 1991, would be deemed to be a ‘Designated Football Match’.
The definition of a designated football match is:
An Association Football Match in which one or both of the participating teams represents a club which is for the time being a member (whether a full or associate member) of the Football League, the Football Association Premier League, the Football Conference or the League of Wales, or represents a country or territory.’
Compliance with this policy and any linked procedures is mandatory.
3.0 Statement of Policy
The Essex Police approach to maintaining public order supports the Essex Policing Plan to reduce the fear of crime and anti-social behaviour. In seeking to achieve these priorities, the Force will place particular emphasis upon working in partnership with other agencies and our Independent Advisory Groups to improve community safety and the reduction of reported crime. Essex Police is committed to providing a high quality service that is customer focused, sensitive and responsive to the individual needs of our communities and staff.
We will establish an effective mechanism to capture all available intelligence and ensure that this intelligence is used to underpin policing operations for each fixture and future policing operations. Where relevant intelligence exists, this will inform local and force level community tension monitoring and a Community Impact Assessment (Form A525 CIA) will be considered.
3.1 Responsibilities of Essex Police
Essex Police will comply with Home Office publications (where appropriate) and the Authorised Professional Practice.
Prevention and detection of crime;
Prevention or stopping of a Breach of the Peace;
Traffic regulation within the legal powers provided by statute. (Which does not cater for the stopping of traffic immediately outside the event);
Activation of contingency plans where there is an immediate threat to life and property, and the co-ordination of the resultant Emergency Services available.
The enforcement of legislation under the Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985 as amended at the entrances to the stadium;
The enforcement of legislation under the Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985 at sporting events on vehicles travelling to the event;
Football (Offences) Act 1991; Football (offences and Disorder) Act 1999; Football Spectators Act 1989 and the (Football Disorder) Act 2000 and any amendments;
The enforcement of legislation and investigation of racially aggravated/ homophobic/hate crime offences;
To provide a policing response that maximises the safety of the people of Essex, as well as those police officers subject of any policing operation;
To work in partnership to develop plans to minimise disruption to our communities, including the road network;
To prevent crime and disorder;
To deal with disorder and breaches of the criminal law in an effective manner;
To allow the members of the public to lawfully exercise their rights and freedoms under Human Rights legislation.
The deployment, or use, of any of these police powers being at the discretion of Essex Police.
Essex Police will take all reasonable steps to ensure:
Any response to public disorder is justified, appropriate, proportionate, and necessary to ensure that the law is upheld and the rights and freedoms of individuals are protected;
A sound criminal investigation strategy that incorporates early liaison with key members of the Crown Prosecution Service;
A thoroughly documented auditable policing plan will be maintained for each football policing operation.
All aspects of the running of the event are the sole responsibilities of the Football Club in particular:
The overall safety of the event;
The stewarding of the event;
All issues affecting the safety of spectators and staff at the venue including issue of monitoring to avoid overcrowding;
All conditions as identified in the safety certificate.
4.0 Implications of the Policy
4.1 Finance / Staffing / Training / Other
The policing of public order incidents will be financed through local and central budgets or other external sources. There is no specific budget for policing football matches, but Essex Police will seek to recover any costs of specific Police resources requested by the club under Special police services charging arrangements.
Resourcing will be drawn from Local Policing Areas (LPA) and/or Operational Policing Command (OPC) via an Operational Planning request to Central Resource Management Unit (CRMU). Levels of resource will be determined according to the match category and the available information and intelligence. The officers allocated will be appropriately trained and equipped.
4.2 Risk Assessment(s)
Each football match will be risk assessed; this will be considered alongside the generic risk assessments of general policing activities.
4.3 Equality Impact Assessment
This procedure has been assessed with regard to an Equality Impact Assessment. As a result of this assessment it has been graded as having a low potential impact as the proposals in this procedure would have no potential or actual differential impact on grounds of age, sex, disability, race, religion or belief, marriage and civil partnership, sexual orientation, gender reassignment and pregnancy and maternity.
The following have been consulted during the formulation of this document:
Head of Operational Policing Command (OPC)
Operational Planning, OPC
Training – EPC
Accredited Public Order Commanders
Public Order Tactical Advisers
Essex & Kent Serious Crime Directorate
6.0 Monitoring and Review
The policing arrangements for football matters are monitored by the Chief Inspector, Planning and Resource Management, on behalf of the Head of OPC.
The evaluation and review of this policy in relation to public order, particularly those predictable events where the risk is high, will be a continuous process and will be conducted by Chief Inspector, Operational Planning, on behalf of the Head of OPC.
The policy will be monitored throughout its lifespan by the Chief Inspector Operational Planning, to ensure it remains accurate and compliant with both legislation and national/local drivers. This policy will be reviewed annually.
7.0 Related Force Policies or Related Procedures
D 0901 Procedure – Policing of Football Matches
D 0700 Policy - Public Order
D 0701 Procedure – Public Order
7.1 Data Security
Essex Police have measures in place to protect the security of your data in accordance with our Information Management Policy – W 1000 Policy – Information Management.
7.2 Retention & Disposal of Records
Essex Police will hold data in accordance with our Records Review, Retention & Disposal Policy – W 1012 Procedure/SOP - Records Review, Retention and Disposal.
We will only hold data for as long as necessary for the purposes for which we collected. Victims/public should be reminded that Essex Police take the protection of personal data seriously as described in the privacy notice.
8.0 Other source documents, e.g. legislation, Authorised Professional Practice (APP), partnership agreements (if applicable)
Authorised Professional Practice – Public Order – Policing Football
Department of Culture, Media and Sport Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds
National Decision Model (Jan 2011)
Paying the Bill 2 2010
NPCC advice On Charging for Police Services - April 2016
The legal basis within which this policy is to operate can be found in: