Who should pay for the policing of football? Evidence-based progressive change for Special Police Service football policing in England and Wales

Hester, Richard ORCID: 0000-0001-9008-0136 (2023) Who should pay for the policing of football? Evidence-based progressive change for Special Police Service football policing in England and Wales. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/ZZ68N3S5

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This thesis provides an original contribution through analysing the interplay between Special Police Services (SPS) and the policing of football in England and Wales. A 2017 ruling from Ipswich Town Football Club Co Ltd v Chief Constable of Suffolk Constabulary restricted the area that police forces can cost recover through (SPS) from the policing of events. According to data produced in 2019 by South Yorkshire Police, the cost of policing football in England and Wales is £48 million, with only £5.5 million cost recovered by police forces through SPS. With seemingly no scrutiny, this figure was accepted in Parliamentary debate as factual. This thesis utilised Freedom of Information (FOI) data to establish the true cost of football policing, as well as semi-structured interviews with police officers, football club representatives and other key stakeholders linked to football policing in England and Wales. This research shows that the existing data on the cost of policing football is inaccurate, with £48 million likely being an overestimate, and the amount being recovered through SPS averaging around £10 million over recent seasons. Furthermore, SPS negotiations between football clubs and police forces are shown to cause hostility and create difficult relationships between football clubs and police forces, potentially compromising safety. Stewarding of football was found to need greater professionalisation. Whilst, police resourcing of football was found to be risk averse, with fixtures being over resourced with public order policing assets and a lack of utilisation of specialist football resources. This research calls for more liaison based policing of football, using fewer but more specialist resourcing. It is argued that the catalyst for change should be the abolition of SPS, as the police service role in policing football needs reframing.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Hobson, Jonathanjhobson@glos.ac.ukhttps://www.glos.ac.uk/staff/profile/jonathan-hobson/
Jones, Demelzadjones28@glos.ac.ukhttps://www.glos.ac.uk/staff/profile/demelza-jones/
Stafford, Andrewastafford1@glos.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Uncontrolled Keywords: Football; Policing costs, England and Wales; Special Police Services
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology. > HV7231 Criminal justice administration > HV7431 Prevention of crime, methods, etc.
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2024 16:56
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2024 16:58
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/13632

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