HC Deb 14 February 1977 vol 926 cc24-5W
Mr. Cope

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will now announce the further steps with regard to football hooliganism that he told the House on 18th November he hoped to take early in the new year.

Mr. Merlyn Rees

On 14th December last year I and other Ministers concerned met representatives of the football organisations and chief officers of police to review the methods being used to control football crowds and prevent hooliganism. Among matters discussed were the control of drink at and around grounds and on transport; liaison between the police and coach operators, British Rail and supporters' clubs so that the police know in advance of travel arrangements; and the further implementation of the recommendations of the Working Party on Crowd Behaviour of which my right hon. Friend the Minister of State, Department of the Environment, is Chairman. We concluded that further improvements in the existing arrangements were best achieved through local initiatives and co-operation, although I shall, in consultation with the other Ministers and agencies concerned, keep the situation under review.

The Criminal Law Bill, now being considered in another place, proposes substantial increases in the maximum fines and amounts of compensation which may be ordered by magistrates' courts to be paid by those convicted of offences associated with hooliganism. It also includes better provision for making attendance centre orders against football supporters convicted after away matches.