Know your rights: England


Do I have to carry an ID card on me/with me? Is there an obligation to carry a form of ID? If I don’t what are the consequences?

There is no requirement to carry ID in the UK.


Is the usage or possession of pyrotechnics legal inside and/or outside the stadia?

Fireworks are banned inside stadiums – section 2A Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985


Outside the stadium there are restrictions about the time of day, age of person with the firework and strength of the firework. Fireworks should not be let off in public spaces.

What are the regulations about buying/selling tickets on the “black market”?


It is illegal to sell a ticket to another person. They have to be returned to the club. Most recent law is the Ticket Touting (Designation of Football Matches) Order 2007.


What happens in case I’m arrested?

– For how long can you be held at the police station/in prison at maximum?

You can be held for up to 24 hours, which can be extended up to 36 hours (with the approval of a senior officer), and then up to 96 hours (with Magistrate approval) if you are arrested for a serious offence and there are outstanding investigations.


– Which personal details or information am I obliged to give?

You are not obliged to give any personal information.

Fingerprints, DNA, and photos can be taken by force in a police station. (Fingerprints – section 61 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE). This information is currently retained indefinitely. The law is due to change though.

The police can also use force to take a person’s fingerprints in the street but only for the purpose of verifying a person’s ID. British Police forces have mobile fingerprint technology now. The fingerprints taken in this way cannot be retained.)

Intimate samples cannot be taken by force, but failure to provide it can be used against you at trial.


– Am I allowed to make a call?

Yes but this can be restricted in certain circumstances. (s.56 PACE 84)


– Am I allowed to contact a lawyer immediately? If I don´t have one in the country, will I be provided with one?

Yes but this can be restricted in certain circumstances. (s.58 PACE 84) You should get legal advice before any interview with the police and you should not talk about the offence for which you are arrested until a solicitor is present.


– Anything else to consider?

Legal representation in the police station is free. You can also contact your home embassy. You are also entitled to a free interpreter in your first language.

You can be ‘cautioned’ for an offence, which is a type of final warning. This can remain on your record though. You can also be given a Fixed Penalty Notice for public order offences. This is a fine. Accepting a caution or a FPN is admission of guilt. Do not accept this if you believe you are innocent of the offence.

What different kind of police units are there in the United Kingdom? What are their areas of responsibility? Is there any special football police unit?

United Kingdom Football Policing Unit. Each force has a Football Intelligence Unit of a few officers. They liaise with local police forces and the British Transport Police on match days.


What about the consumption of alcohol inside stadia or in public? If it is not allowed and you’re caught drinking, what can happen?

Alcohol only can be consumed on the concourse of the stadium (i.e. in the designated bars). No alcohol allowed in sight of the field of play. Entering a stadium when drunk also a criminal offence. All under section 2 Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985

Cannot drink on buses or chartered trains on route to or from football matches. (Section 1 Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985


Who issues stadium banning orders in UK and on the basis of which (legal or regulatory) framework are they issued and by whom?

A club can ban someone from their own stadium, as the private owners of the property. Football Banning Orders ban a person from all football matches for a period of time. A person convicted of an offence related to football (which is broadly defined) can have an FBO imposed on them by the Court on the application of the police (section 14A Football Spectators Act 1989). An FBO can also be applied for by the police on the basis of a dossier of information when someone has not been convicted of a football related offence. (section 14B Football Spectators Act 1989)

In both cases it is possible to have legal representation and to contest the application. It is generally not possible to get free legal representation to contest an application.

Banning period

· (14A) When made following a conviction a football banning order may be made for up to ten years if immediate imprisonment is imposed, the minimum in this scenario will be a six year football banning order.

· (14A) When made following a conviction but where no immediate imprisonment is imposed the maximum period shall be five years and the minimum three years.

· (14B) If it is simply an order imposed on the above grounds but where there has not been a conviction the maximum shall be three years and the minimum two years.


Emergency Phone Numbers (incl intl. dial code):



Anything else I should consider in [name of the country] in any case?

Stop and search powers – Do not have to give person information

Section 1 PACE – If suspected of possessing banned or stolen property (need reasonable suspicion)

Section 60 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act – Power must be authorized in specific area where concern about violent crime. Allows searching without reasonable suspicion

Alcohol violence

s.27 Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 – Allows police to ban a person from a specific area for 24-

48 hours if the officer considers the person is likely to cause or contribute to alcohol related violence or disorder

Anti-social behaviour

Section 50 Police Reform Act 2002 – Police can demand a person provides their personal information if they believe the person has acted in a manner which has caused harassment alarm or distress.

Filming by the police – They are allowed to overtly film for intelligence or evidence gathering purposes and to deter crime. They cannot use force to ensure they capture a person’s face. Covert filming is subject to much greater regulation.



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