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Police ask football leagues to foot the bill for hooliganism

DPA/The Local · 4 Nov 2009, 13:07

Published: 04 Nov 2009 13:07 GMT+01:00

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“We are waiting for the German Football Federation (DFB) and the Bundesliga (DFL) to take a reasonable share of these costs,” the union’s national chairman, Rainer Wendt, told broadcaster ZDF.

“A flat charge that paid for a season – something like €50 million – would be a real friendship price,” Wendt said. “The personnel costs alone for police deployments at football matches are clearly more than €100 million."

The union has been deeply critical in the past of fixtures of so-called “problem matches,” such as the meeting between Hansa Rostock and St Pauli on Monday night.

These matches are in the police union’s view entirely commercially driven, Wendt said.

He also demanded that police have a say in scheduling matches. Night time games are a problem for police because of the darkness outside the stadiums, he said.

An investigation has begun into the violence in Rostock, in the northern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, in which 500 violent supporters of Hansa Rostock tried to breach a police barrier and threw stones, bottles and firecrackers after their club lost to visiting St Pauli 2-0.

The two clubs have a history of conflict.

One suspect had been identified by a security video recording, said Rostock public prosecutor Peter Lückemann. The suspect had thrown several stones but did not appear to have caused any injuries.

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Some 23 suspects – all Rostock supporters – were arrested on Monday but all were released overnight.

DFB president Theo Zwanziger has previously accused the police union of stirring fear among fans and described earlier remarks by Wendt as “irresponsible.”

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:01 November 4, 2009 by The-ex-pat
Something that is long, long over due in all nations that have fanatical football supporters.
16:03 November 4, 2009 by Gaffers
In the UK the clubs pay for police attendance (no idea what the scales are however) and the Police have a strong influence over the timing of "problem games". I guess this is showing benefits in the reduced levels of hooliganism in the English Leagues. It still exists but at far lower levels than in the past. When English teams play abroad we see more problems due, in my opinion, to the inabilty to correctly police the events.

The police should have control over these games to minimise the risks and ensure public safety. It's their job and the football clubs should not be allowed to dictate to them regarding this.
18:41 November 4, 2009 by Meringer
Here in the states, off-duty police are oft hired to provide added security at sporting events, concerts, etc. But in these European matches, that may not be enough as much of the destruction and violence occur outside of the stadium in the surrounding towns where the on-duty officers must handle it, thus causing the extra costs involved in augmenting the normal force on duty. They must bring in many more officers or miltary than are on duty on a night when there are no games scheduled. Add a few Euros to the tickets that are earmarked to reimburse the local government and citizens for damages and expenses. Let the fans pay for their FUN. I will watch it from home or my local pub far away from the crazy
18:48 November 4, 2009 by Gaffers
To be fair I think the ticket prices are high enough aready. The clubs shouldn't pass the cost onto the innocent supporters. They should deal with the offenders appropriately or pay the costs themselves. They make enough money to do this...
19:34 November 4, 2009 by pepsionice
This is a rather simple problem. First....start a simple crime description of hooliganism and attach a handling fee (as you arrest them) of 250 Euro ($320 roughly). Then you have a release fee (if during the evening hours) of 250 Euro ($320 roughly). Then a simple court fine at the end of 1,000 Euro ($1,250 roughly). Guarantee the cops the first two fees to go into a police fund administered by the local police division.....and the last one can be run by the national police leadership. Fifteen hundred Euro would be a significant fine and fee assortment....and after one of these episodes....you'd probably forget about future attendance at games.
12:30 November 5, 2009 by Gaffers
It sounds simple but it has a flaw. Police are then "incentivesed" to make arrests and innocents caught up in the trouble could find themselves spending a night in the jail. There's the issue of crowding in the prisons, handling the fees and how about innocent before being found guilty? Unless a jury convicts them of this criminal offence they can not be considered guilty (I know speeding fines and the like exist but these are fundamentally different).

You saw it in the UK when the mobile speed cameras were introduced. The police started using these to generate revenue rather than for the public good. There was ONE officer who was responsible for 5% of all the UKs' speeding tickets. Introduce a financial incentive into the criminal process and you are asking for trouble.
05:39 November 7, 2009 by DavidM
There are really some athlete that gets irritated whenever they face defeat. Well, we can never expect to win at all times. It is just so sad that whenever they lose they would resort the thing on violence. Just recently, the Brandon Spikes eye gouging video has been blowing up the internet. It's evident from watching the Brandon Spikes eye gouging video makes it obvious that the dangerous action was premeditated, deliberate, and malicious. It's claimed it was retaliation, but regardless of that claim, the fact is that the University of Florida Gators defensive captain could have seriously injured another player, and will only miss ONE HALF of a game. If I were a U of F student, I would be FUMING ­ as the lack of any disciplining after the Brandon Spikes eye gouging video has cheapened the integrity of the institution I gave cash advance loans to for a higher education, and they're obviously in the sports business first.
09:13 November 12, 2009 by moistvelvet
Agreed that clubs should pay for the police, but would the money be well spent, have such little faith in the service that they provide I doubt it would be. Driving past the police station the other night and noticed at 5:15pm that not a single office had lights on, I don't know why but I somehow expect their job to be more than 8pm-(then 1/2 hr breakfast)-5pm job.
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