Petition calls for halt to new Policing Bill
Posted on 16th September 2021
Almost 60,000 people have signed a petition started by human rights group Liberty to stop the controversial Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill becoming law.
The Bill, and its broad scope, could have a serious impact on match-going fans and traditional supporter behaviour.
Despite concerns from football fans and civil liberties campaigners, the Bill has passed through the House of Commons and is currently making its way through the House of Lords.
Liberty’s petition calls on the Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Justice to scrap the most damaging proposals within the Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill
“The anti-protest Bill will give police the choice on where, when and how people can protest,” Liberty said.
“We cannot allow these powers to pass. Now is the time for us to come together to stand up to this aggressive and egregious power grab.”
FSA caseworker Amanda Jacks has been leading the FSA’s response to the Bill and discussed it in detail in a blog we published on our site back in April – you can read that here.
The FSA made a formal submission of evidence to the The Joint Committee on Human Rights back in June.
Amanda said: “The protests against the European Super League would have been covered by this Bill, and we could have seen hundreds of football fans arrested for taking to the streets as they did.
“Every fan protest of note involves annoying someone and would therefore leave supporters open to likely arrest and up to ten years in prison.
“In its current form the Bill is exceptionally broad and applicable in numerous instances such as fans congregating outside a pub, jumping around and singing, perhaps blocking access to a bus stop or spilling out into the road.
“The police already have powers of dispersal in a range of circumstances but it is deeply concerning to imagine that annoying or inconveniencing people could effectively become a criminal offence.”