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"English Disease"--Cured or in Remission? An Analysis of Police Response to Football Hooliganism in the 1990s

NCJ Number
Crime Prevention and Community Safety: An International Journal Volume: 1 Issue: 4 Dated: 1999 Pages: 35-47
Jon Garland; Michael Rowe
Date Published
13 pages
This article assesses the levels and trends of football-related disorder in England and examines the methods used to police such "hooliganism" in the 1990's.
Police strategies to counter violent disorders at football games have been based in the belief that most of the disorders have been orchestrated by violent, organized hooligan gangs. Methods used to deal with such gangs at football games have included the use of closed-circuit television, private police, and police intelligence gathering. British hooligan incidents at games in France in 1998 prompted the adoption of the following policies: strengthening curbs on foreign travel, toughening existing powers to stop convicted hooligans from traveling to domestic games, and the introduction of new measures to stop unconvicted but known hooligans from traveling abroad. Although these measures have reduced the incidence of organized hooliganism and the involvement of previous offenders, there is evidence that violent disorders at football games persist in a pattern of random, disorganized violence and disorder. Police strategies that were reasonably effective in dealing with organized gangs and known hooligans have not apparently dealt with the random, disorganized fighting that continues at football games. Strategies must be changed to address these persistent patterns. 1 table, 1 figure, and 62 notes