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Is Section 27 back?

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

We first heard of Section 27 (from the Violent Crime Reduction Act of 2006) in November 2007 after dozens of Stoke fans contacted us complaining of its use. The Act gives police the power to effectively ban individuals from specific areas for 48 hours. The FSF argued its use had been unlawful and eventually police compensated Stoke fans. It was a big victory and showed what can be achieved by normal fans.

We hoped this would be the end of it but over the weekend we began to hear worrying reports that police had used Section 27 in order to prevent Leeds United fans attending their team’s clash with Millwall on Saturday.

Details are sketchy so it’s vital that any fans who were there email amanda.jacks@fsf.org.uk with their accounts so we can establish whether Section 27 orders were actually served.

Police may even be using new powers that we’re not familiar with – either way we need as much eyewitness evidence as possible if fans feel they have been wronged.

So far we believe around 150 fans were forcibly held in Wetherspoons at the Surrey Docks before being moved across London. Reports suggest supporters were refused access to toilets, as happened to Stoke fans in Greater Manchester, and were given a bucket instead. Very nice of the police that.

Leeds fans were then taken in convoy across London from Canada Water tube to Waterloo then on to Charing Cross. We’ve heard reports that people were almost passing out in the unbearable heat as no water was provided during the two hour detention. That’s totally unacceptable in our eyes.

Even police on the ground, presumably taking orders from their superiors, were complaining about the conditions.

As far as we’re aware none of the fans in this convoy were allowed to attend the match as they were all forced to go back to Leeds.

We’re guessing the police weren’t exactly handing out ticket refunds either.

If you were there email Amanda Jacks today, we’re really keen to hear from you.

For more information on Section 27 and how it can be challenged see our Watching Football Is Not A Crime! campaign.

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