Humberside Police have warned a gang of youths that antisocial behaviour at Scunthorpe United home games will not be tolerated, following reports a small number of fans have been causing trouble in recent months.
Superintendent Dave Hall has warned the trouble makers that they could be given Football Banning Orders if the disorder continues, whilst the club have labelled their actions ‘disappointing’ following a number of unsavoury clashes following games this term.
The statement read:
For years we have worked closely with Scunthorpe United Football Club to maintain its position as a family friendly club and somewhere that’s a welcoming place to visit on match days.
Last season and again over recent months we have noticed that a small group of youths seem to be intent on causing trouble before and during games, and we want to put a stop to it before it escalates.
These youths, who are aged between 14 and 20, congregate around the Gallagher Retail Park during home games seemingly wanting to start trouble and randomly pick on anyone.
Alongside SUFC we’re now issuing a warning to them about their behaviour so it doesn’t get any worse and become a problem for the club and for us.
Superintendent Dave Hall, who is leading this footballing initiative for Humberside Police said: “Our football intelligence officers have reported that this particular group of youths seem to think it is a good idea to cause trouble on match days.
“Some of them used to go to matches but have decided now to do this instead. I’d like to remind them that it’s not funny or clever and we are putting a stop to it.
“The vast majority of football fans want to enjoy a good day out, go and support their team, and don’t expect to be threatened or be in fear of violence. The real football fans are families, young children as well as elderly people.
“The last thing I want to do is criminalise children or young people as it can have a profound impact long into their adult lives.
“If this continues there is the potential for these youths get a criminal record through Football Banning Orders or even Criminal Behaviour Orders.
“I want these youths and their parents to engage with the club and with us so we can meet, intervene and prevent this from happening.
“Also, when we have to deal with antisocial behaviour like this it takes our officers away from other duties. Some of these can be real emergencies where a person’s life is at risk or other force priorities such as domestic violence and protecting the vulnerable.
“There is a strong younger footballing community that support SUFC without causing any problems. I want these youths to heed our warnings so we can all remember the day for the right reasons.”
Scunthorpe United Football Club’s Operations Manager, Pete Wallace, said: “It’s disappointing to see that a very small minority of youths are participating in anti-social behaviour on matchdays in the Glanford Park area.
“This type of behaviour not only gives the club a bad reputation but also the town of Scunthorpe to visiting supporters and it will not be tolerated.
“The club, along with its supporters, have worked hard to build up an excellent reputation for providing a safe, family friendly environment and will not let a small minority spoil this.
“We are continuing to work closely with the Police to ensure this current issue is eradicated, so that everyone can continue to enjoy the matchday experience and the Police can focus on more worthwhile duties.”