Cambridgeshire Police Persecution of Football Fans..

My client, known as Tommy Robinson, is a Luton Town FC football fan. On Saturday 27th August 2016 he went to watch Cambridge United FC v Luton Town FC with two friends and five children under 11, between them. All the children were in Luton Town FC shirts.

Neither my client nor his friends were involved in any disorder throughout the entire day in Cambridge. Before and after the match, Mr Robinson was with his group of friends and the children, and spent most of his time at the fair on Parkers Piece, Cambridge. He entered the Grain & Hop Store Public House at the end of a pleasant afternoon with the children. However within half an hour, he and his children were subjected to distressing and unwarranted harassment by Cambridgeshire Police officers who told him that he and his children had to leave the City of Cambridge to prevent disorder.

This is believed to be a blatant misuse of a dispersal order against a football fan who did nothing more than go on a family day out: attend a football match, watch a football match on a TV in a pub with friends, and attend the fair with children.

There were no issues with either Home or Away supporters in the pub, or to my knowledge, in any other pubs in the area. So why have football fans who have attended a football match with their young children been targeted, harassed and treated with contempt by the police?

Cambridgeshire Police have issued a statement claiming that 18 Luton Town FC football fans were dispersed from the City in order to prevent disorder, but that there was no need for them to be served with notices as they left of their own free will. There is video evidence to the contrary which clearly shows that Mr Robinson was told he had no option but to leave the City. Sadly this is the police PR machine in action, yet another example of the spin that a police force will put on their actions to justify treating football fans like second class citizens.

I am not aware of anyone else who was dispersed, and request that any Luton Town FC football fans who were dispersed from the City of Cambridge on Saturday to make contact with me in order that a full picture of events on that day can be obtained. It would help clarify whether the Cambridgeshire Police count of 18 people being dispersed includes the five children under the age of 11 who were in tears as they were followed by police officers.

I would also like to know if the other people who were dispersed were followed back to the train station by Cambridgeshire Police officers and video recorded by the officers for the whole of this route. It is a shame that the police officers chose to continue following and filming when it would have been clear that this police harassment was causing the children to become very distressed.

I believe the main objective was to try and obtain ‘evidence’ against my client. Upsetting young children who were peacefully walking to the train station on the orders of the police would be considered by many to be provocative, not that this tactic succeeded.

I also ask that anyone who was in the Grain & Hop Store Public House or who witnessed my client, his friends and their children being followed back to Cambridge train station to contact me, particularly if they have video footage or photographs.

This casual misuse of dispersal orders against football fans by police officers cannot continue to be tolerated.
Alison Gurden
Barrister

Contact details
Mobile: 07941 212357
email: gurdena@btinternet.com
Twitter: @gurdena

 

Want to know more about the police powers to use dispersal orders on football fans?…it is explained here in an old post Dispersal Orders and Millwall Fans…. The reality of travelling to Coventry without a ticket.

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About gurdena

Social Justice Lawyer, interested in all things contentious. Specialising in criminal law, and anything criminal justice related, also employment law. Door tenant at 1 Grays Inn Square chambers. Find out more at www.alisongurden.com

5 responses to “Cambridgeshire Police Persecution of Football Fans..”

  1. Luke says :

    Good Luck Alison.

    Having viewed the video footage, this appears to be a travesty of justice. I can’t help but think the Police have well and truly over stepped their boundaries. They appear to have gone from subjects of the peace, to common thugs and bullies.

    I wish you every success in bringing this disgusting behaviour to light publicly and in holding the Police to account. Whoever was dictating their actions must also be brought to light.

    We are supposed to be a free and fair society, yet this single act flies in the face of everything we as Brits hold dear.

    Please win this in the name of justice!

    Kind regards,

    Concerned citizen!

  2. owen bennett says :

    I travel to Southampton matches a lot and there are always fans of both teams in pubs/restaurants after the game where you have the light hearted banter which is part of the match ritual.

    To see what happened to Mr Robinson and his kids is disgusting, the police were completely over the top which leads me to believe they had ulterior motives.

    Being a fan who watched football in the Eighties and saw police intimidation first hand as well as great policing I find this type of provocation a throwback to the bad days of football where fans were all labelled as potential trouble makers.

    Southampton police and others have learnt from these lessons and treat fans with respect, it appears not all police forces are as up to date certainly Camb’s police are lacking in basic decency as a very minimum.

    I am glad this is being looked into as it is a clear abuse of power by someone.

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