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EVENT: Watching Football Is Not A Crime! (Liverpool 28th Nov)

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

The FSF will hold Watching Football Is Not A Crime! in Liverpool on Thursday 28th November (7pm-9pm). Register for free by sending your name and club to [email protected]This event is open to fans of all clubs:

Date: Thursday 28th November 2013 (6pm doors, 7pm start)
Venue: Epstein Theatre, 85 Hanover Street, L1 3DZ
Register free: Simply email your name and club to [email protected]
Panellists: Supt Chris Markey (Force Operations, Merseyside Police); David Lewis (Head of Security and Stadium Safety, Everton); Dr Joel Rookwood (Senior Lecturer, Hope University); Amanda Jacks (Caseworker, FSF) and Rob Girvan (Senior Prosecutor at the CPS Liverpool). The event will be chaired by the FSF’s Michael Brunskill.

Fans tweeting from the event should use #WFINAC.

While we understand that some fans might have individual complaints relating to specific incidents for which they are seeking answers, this isn’t the forum for that. However, we are happy to offer advice in relation to such complaints, email [email protected].

Previous evenings were held in London, Portsmouth, Sheffield and Manchester. They proved to be lively, successful events which gave supporters the chance debate issues around match day policing and stewarding with a panel of experts.

Questions raised at previous events include:

  • Are football fans discriminated against?
  • Is it in the public interest to prosecute fans for offences like drinking in view of the pitch?
  • Can stewards sometimes provoke more trouble than they prevent?
  • Is match day police/camera surveillance OTT?
  • Are Football Banning Orders used appropriately?
  • Are games over or under policed?
  • Is it time to abolish football-specific legislation?
  • What information can clubs and the police share about me?

Panellist biogs:

Dave Lewis is Head of Security and Stadium Safety at Everton. Dave is responsible for monitoring fan behaviour at both home and away games, and works closely with Merseyside Police in respect of those arrested and/or ejected from stadiums.

Dr Joel Rookwood is a Senior Lecturer at Hope University. Joel’s a Liverpool supporter and his research interests include British fan culture, spectator violence and the legal response, and issues relating to sport, race and identity. Joel’s also a member of the 92 club.

Supt Chris Markey is responsible for ensuring that the policing tactics deployed are appropriate and coordinated with the club’s matchday operation. Chris has more than 20 years experience policing football at different levels.

Amanda Jacks is the FSF’s Caseworker. Amanda helps and advises fans who have cause to complain about policing and stewarding, and assists those who may require legal assistance for criminal or civil matters.

Rob Girvan is a barrister,  and now Senior Crown Prosecutor at the CPS Liverpool. He was the prosecutor at the North Liverpool Community Justice Centre for three years up until the end of 2012, the jurisdiction of which covers both Anfield and Goodison.

We’d like to thank Spirit of Shankly’s Peter Hooton for helping make this event happen.

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Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund


  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • Pledgeball
  • SD Europe