§ Mr. Hunter
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a further statement on the policies which he intends to implement regarding football hooliganism and related issues.
§ Mr. Peter Lloyd
I have been asked to reply.
The Government are vigorously supporting the police in their operations against football hooliganism. We are developing the full potential of the newly formed national football intelligence unit to enable the police to target more effectively their resources on hooligan ringleaders. We are encouraging the enhancement of optical evidence-gathering systems at football grounds in this country and the training of their operators.
British police have been and will remain in close liaison with the Italian authorities on policing supporters from this country during the World cup in Italy in June and July. Currently about 60 carabinieri are visiting the Police Staff college and local forces to familiarise themselves with the policing of British football supporters.
Part II of the Football Spectators Act 1989 will be implemented shortly. This will enable courts to impose restriction orders on those convicted of football hooliganism to prevent them from travelling to key matches abroad.
In his final report on the Hillsborough inquiry Lord Justice Taylor recommended the creation of some new offences specific to behaviour at football grounds, and recommended that consideration be given to applying attendance centre orders and electronic tagging to convicted football hooligans. The Government are considering these matters urgently and sympathetically.