HC Deb 13 July 1998 vol 316 c18
21. Mr. Peter L. Pike (Burnley)

What further sanctions people convicted of causing trouble at this year's world cup face under British law. [48415]

The Minister of State, Home Office (Mr. Alun Michael)

An Order in Council came into effect on 1 June which allows the courts in England and Wales to impose restriction orders on those convicted of football-related offences in France. We shall examine the circumstances of each conviction to see whether there are lessons to be learnt in respect of restriction orders.

Mr. Pike

Is it not important that we take every possible step to ensure that the small minority of hooligans who do such damage to the name of football and to the name of England are not allowed ever to get away with it again?

Mr. Michael

I certainly agree with my hon. Friend, although as a Welshman perhaps I should not say too much about the name of England. It is greatly to be welcomed that agreement was reached with France before the world cup finals, so that the order could come into effect on 1 June. The restriction order power is operable if we have an agreement with the country and an order has been made under the Football Spectators Act 1989.

Mr. A. J. Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed)

How many of the people who were arrested in France have been charged with an offence?

Mr. Michael

None so far, because, so far as I am aware, none have been released. The matter will have to be considered on their return to this country.