Football Grounds (Violence and Hooliganism)

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th April 1967.

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Photo of Mr William Price Mr William Price , Rugby 12:00 am, 27th April 1967

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will call a conference of Football League clubs to discuss ways of combating violence and hooliganism on football grounds.

Photo of Mr Dick Taverne Mr Dick Taverne , Lincoln

I doubt whether a conference would serve any useful purpose. It is well understood that responsibility for public order and safety at a football ground rests with the management of the football club concerned and that it is open to the management to seek the services of the police.

Photo of Mr William Price Mr William Price , Rugby

Is my hon. and learned Friend aware that this is becoming a major social problem which needs urgent Government action? Will he do all he can to deter this small minority of thugs and hooligans who are bringing this game into disrepute and at the same time ruining the enjoyment of hundreds of thousands of people?

Photo of Mr Dick Taverne Mr Dick Taverne , Lincoln

It may be a serious problem, but it remains a fact that the responsibility for public order is that of the management of the football club, which has the opportunity to hire as many policemen as it thinks necessary. I do not think that this matter calls for direct action by the Government.