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EDITIONS
Thursday, 2 May, 2002, 19:19 GMT 20:19 UK
Solutions
A heavy police presence
Millions of pounds have been poured into the battle against football hooliganism.

The Football Community scheme was one of the first initiatives launched at many clubs in the 1970s as a counter-measure to hooliganism.

The aim was to involve young people in a variety of football-related activities and help build strong links between the club and community. This was done through the club's participation in coaching courses and educational projects.

Southampton's new St. Mary ground
All new grounds are all-seater
Football clubs have also introduced a number of other measures to reduce trouble. This has been aided by the change to all-seater stadiums and the introduction of family enclosures.

The introduction of CCTV, stewarding as well as the increased use of banning orders have all helped tackle the problem. There is also greater co-operation between clubs, police and the media in helping find and prosecute hooligans.

The Government's Working Group on Football Related Disorder has published a number of recommendations to tackle football hooliganism.

It wants to see a bigger role for fans that are keen to tackle violence as well as greater recognition by clubs of the role of fans. It also wants to see more clubs control the sales of tickets for away games where trouble is likely to occur.

The group has also called for greater effort by clubs, their stewards and police to tackle racist chanting and remarks. And the working group wants to see more initiatives to recognise and develop the value of grassroots football as a method of promoting social inclusion.

Initiatives

There has also been the introduction of a number of high-profile campaigns to drive out racism from football.

The Professional Footballers' Association and the Commission for Racial Equality founded the "Kick it out" campaign.

It works by giving children the opportunity to see footballers talking personally about the effect of racism on their lives.

Derby County logo
Derby County work closely with the police
Derby County has teamed up with the police in a scheme called Rams Against Football Troublemakers.

This sees the club and police regularly exchange information about known hooligans to ensure that anyone banned from the ground for causing trouble is kept away from games.

It is also involved with a new initiative called Derby County Football in the Community. This aims to increase the club's activities in deprived areas.

Ipswich Town runs a highly successful Playing for Success and Positive Futures Scheme, which, together with the council, targets children with problems such as drug abuse and petty crime through football coaching sessions.

Starting Young

Stoke City has been involved in a scheme called the Streets Sports Initiative. This saw the police working in partnership with the club in holding after-school sports events with the aid of mobile floodlighting systems.

Brentford provides free coaching for up to 10,000 children as part of its football development programme.

It also is involved in a football programme at Feltham in a bid to reduce vandalism in the area.

Sheffield Wednesday has a scheme under which suspected hooligans can be banned before they are proven guilty.

The club and South Yorkshire Police launched the strategy to tackle violence, racism and anti-social behaviour both inside and outside the ground.

The Wednesday Against Soccer Hooligans scheme (WASH) has helped make improvements to safety inside the ground and other measures are planned.

Under the initiative the club can ban fans before the courts convict them. It has also launched a scheme to encourage more ethnic minority fans to Hillsborough.

Birmingham City has signed an agreement with the police in a scheme called Together Against Football Trouble-Makers. Under the scheme both police and the club jointly investigate anyone arrested or ejected from the ground.

Each case is decided on its merits with inquiries conducted parallel to any criminal proceedings. The severity of the punishment depends on the seriousness of the offence.

Cheltenham has launched its Cheltenham Town United scheme in a bid to get local groups involved with their club. The club tries to show that hooliganism and racism is wrong by educating, informing and influencing its existing supporters.

It also asks community groups how they would like to be involving with the club. It holds multi-cultural events to foster closer relations between the club and different ethnic groups from the local community.

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