‘Enjoy the new football season safely’ urges police
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With the new football season upon us we are advising supporters of all teams coming to Derbyshire throughout the campaign to enjoy the experience of watching their club safely.
Both Derby County and Chesterfield Football Clubs will kick off the new season on Saturday 5 August with home games against Wigan Athletic and Dorking Wanderers respectively. However, with thousands of fans expected in Derbyshire for those games, and throughout the next nine months of the football season, tensions have the potential to reach fever pitch.
Most supporters attending the games during the winter months will be there simply to enjoy, or endure, the experience of supporting their team, however, for some the temptation will be to take things further and get involved in anti-social behaviour or even violence.
We are advising those who feel the need to resort to criminality that we will be on hand to arrest them, and they will face the prospect of a banning order.
Dedicated Football Officer, PC Michael Turner said: “We understand that passions can run high when following your football team but that is no excuse to resorting to violence and anti-social behaviour. In Derbyshire we have experience of policing some of the biggest games in the country and will always do what we can to ensure they pass off as peacefully as possible.”
“However, if you do decide to take your support for your team over the line and turn to violence, we will not hesitate to arrest you and anyone else involved. Football is a family sport and we, in Derbyshire, aim to keep it that way.”
Between April 2022 and March 2023, we issued 29 people with banning orders as a result of their involvement in violence before, during, and after football matches in Derbyshire. That included home and away supporters and was the third highest in the country.
PC Turner added: “Football banning orders greatly restrict what a person can do when their football team is playing, it doesn’t just ban them from attending the matches, it also bars them from entering the city centre and area around the stadium four hours before kick off and six hours after the end of the match anywhere in the country. The person will also be required to surrender their passport when England are due to play away from home.”
“The message from myself and my colleague at Derbyshire Police is come and support your team, come and enjoy Derbyshire but do so sensibly, safely, and without endangering yourself or others who just want to watch a game of football on a Saturday afternoon.”