12 Year Old Banned From Attending Football Matches

Credit: AP

The youngest person to get a Football Ban Order was aged 12.

Figures for different police vary, with 43 FBOs to under-18s in one force and none in many others.

People with FBOs may have to hand in passports before foreign matches, such as the Euro 2016 tournament.

England fans, and those from countries including Russia, have been involved in violence at the championship in France.

FBOs can be issued by courts after a football-related conviction, or following complaints by police forces or prosecutors.

They can last from three to ten years, and breaching an order can lead to a £5,000 fine or even a prison sentence.

The figures on FBOs cover the three years up to March 2016.

The case of the 12-year-old given a ban came after he threw missiles and was abusive after Newcastle United were beaten 3-0 by Sunderland in 2013, said Northumbria Police.

Northumbria Police have the highest number of FBOs for under-18s. The 43 FBOs in its area were to 38 Newcastle United and five Sunderland fans

Chief Superintendent Steve Neill said – “We recognise these numbers are high but a large number of these orders were issued following the Tyne-Wear derby in April 2013 where several young people got involved in disorder. Following this game we made a concerted effort to change the way we work and engage with the thriving football community that exists in the North East.”

He said fans had behaved “impeccably” during the latest season (2015-2016).

The 106 FBOs for under-18s included:

  • 13 in Scotland: Fans of Celtic, Hamilton, Hearts, Hibernian, Dundee United, Dunfermline, Motherwell and Rangers.
  • 10 in London: Fans of AFC Wimbledon, Brentford, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Millwall and Queens Park Rangers.
  • A fan of Turkish team, Galatasaray (British Transport Police data).
  • None in Greater Manchester, Leicestershire, Derbyshire and more than a dozen other forces.

Geoff Pearson, a senior law lecturer at Manchester University, said there were “huge discrepancies” in how forces used this legislation.

The Football Supporters’ Federation, said these bans should be a “last resort” for children, and young people should be encouraged to be taught to behave at matches and not take part in any criminal activities.

Police forces were also asked about the oldest people given FBOs, which included a 60-year-old Arsenal fan and a man of 64 in the Lancashire Police area.

Over 2,181 bans in total were in force in September of 2015.

There has been data requests from police forces in England, Scotland and Wales. Over eight different forces did not answer or did not give the information that was requested.

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