We’re delighted to announce that the Football Supporters’ Federation have joined the Convention on Modern Liberty as partners. Football supporters have been on the receiving end of draconian new laws recently with police abusing the powers given them under Section 27 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act to issue banning orders on the spot, to whole groups of supporters, whether an offence has been committed or not. The FSF website describes one recent incident of this involving Stoke City supporters:
Around 80 Stoke City supporters were detained at the Railway Inn pub in Irlam, Greater Manchester. There had been no violent disorder and the landlord was entirely happy with their behaviour – even offering to put food on for them if they ever return!
Unfortunately Greater Manchester Police did not share the same outlook and rounded up Stoke supporters – including a businessman who had to meet clients at Old Trafford – before escorting them back to Stoke-on-Trent.
This and similar incidents led the FSF to launch their “watching football is not a crime” campaign. The FSF helped win an apology from the GMP and are now taking the case to judicial review along with Liberty to prevent Section 27 being unlawfully used in this way again.
We look forward to collaborating with FSF on the Convention.