Police evoke spirit of Euro 2016 in appeal to football fans

Police news
Police news

The positivity and friendliness of Euro 2016 has been evoked by the PSNI in an effort to cut down on football related disorder this season.

There were 40 reported incidents between January and May 2016, compared to just 35 across Northern Ireland in the whole of 2015.

A senior police officer has called on local football fans to “show respect for their clubs” by supporting their teams in a responsible manner.

Superintendent Nigel Goddard said: “Following the recent success of the national team at the Euro’s and the exemplary behaviour of the fans I want to take this opportunity to remind supporters about the need to behave in a safe and legal manner when attending local football matches.”

“I recognise that the vast majority of fans are there to enjoy the match and there is no harm in friendly rivalry between supporters but we will not tolerate disruption, disorder or criminal behaviour of any kind. Police will continue to work with our local football clubs and the Irish Football League to address any criminal activity linked to people attending matches and ensure that supporters are kept safe.”

Supt Goddard said the increase earlier this year was unfortunate, and that investigations into many of the incidents are continuing.

He added: “I recognise that the vast majority of fans are there to enjoy the match and there is no harm in friendly rivalry between supporters but we will not tolerate disruption, disorder or criminal behaviour of any kind.

“Police will continue to work with our local football clubs and the Irish Football League to address any criminal activity linked to people attending matches and ensure that supporters are kept safe.”

In June of this year, a 23-year-old man was given a four year domestic football banning order at Coleraine Magistrates Court. The order was the first of its kind to be issued in Northern Ireland and followed an incident of disorderly behaviour after an Irish league match between Coleraine and Ballymena in December 2015.