South Yorkshire police chief in call for matchday cash

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ONE of South Yorkshire’s most senior police officers has renewed his calls for football clubs to pay more for the policing of games – and wants police forces to claim for all costs they incur.

Assistant Chief Constable Andy Holt, the Association of Chief Police Officers’ lead on football policing, said it is his personal view police chiefs should be allowed to recoup costs associated with policing football.

In addition to cash for having police officers in and outside football stadiums, he wants forces to be entitled to bill clubs for the cost of dealing with all football-related incidents on match days.

ACC Holt spoke out after research commissioned by ACPO found a rise in crime and disorder at least a kilometre away from grounds on match days.

He told the BBC: “It’s my personal view we should have full cost recovery. We are not trying to enforce that. We are working with clubs and it’s a matter for discussion. My personal view is that professional businesses in the entertainment industry should pay the full costs of their policing.”

And in an official statement released by ACPO, he added: “Our experience in policing shows football matches tend to lead to an increase in crime and disorder in the areas surrounding grounds. This research supports this view and suggests that the area affected by increased criminality extends further than the area in which clubs contribute to the costs of policing.”

A Football League spokesman said: “Costs incurred away from the ground that are deemed necessary are covered by the state – it’s what people pay their taxes for, with English professional football contributing more that £1bn a year to the Treasury, let alone the tax paid by the millions of fans who attend Premier League and Football League games during the season, and who are of course entitled, like all citizens, to police services as they go about their lawful business. We fail to see why football fans should pay twice for policing.”