On Friday, 5 August the last member of an eight-strong gang of York City supporters responsible for damage and disorder in a Leeds city centre pub received a three-year banning order at Leeds Crown Court.
Ben Morrison, 26, of Acaster Lane, Bishopthorpe, York, and seven others caused significant damage to Spencers bar on Mill Hill after stopping off in Leeds on their way home from an FA Cup tie last November.
The others were banned for a total of 23 years, and must pay more than £3,500 in costs, following a joint investigation involving West Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire Police, with support from South Yorkshire Police.
Under the terms of the orders, the men are not allowed within half-a-mile of York City’s stadium, Bootham Crescent, for three hours before kick-off and three hours after the game.
Within the same time period, they are also prohibited from being inside the city walls and in 200 metres of York train station.
They are also required to sign in at a specified police station whenever the England national team play a fixture abroad.
Breaching the terms of a football banning order carries a maximum prison sentence of six months.
West Yorkshire Police’s Football Banning Unit is one of the most proactive teams in the country, and has secured a total of 58 banning orders since it was launched in 2008.
In the last year, the Unit secured 27 banning orders against supporters from Leeds United (20), and Bradford City (7).
Chief Superintendent Mark Milsom, of West Yorkshire Police’s City and Holbeck Division, is responsible for the Football Banning Unit.
Chief Supt Milsom said: “The vast majority of people attending matches are true supporters who want nothing more than to enjoy themselves by cheering their team on to victory.
“It is important that we act to put a stop to any crime or anti-social behaviour, not just because of the impact it has on other supporters but also because of the wider impact on our clubs, which we enjoy a strong working relationship with.
“Anyone who becomes involved in crime, anti-social behaviour, or disorder connected to matches within West Yorkshire can expect a Football Banning Order.”
The Football Banning Unit works closely with counterparts in other forces across Great Britain to identify and share evidence relating to supporters involved in incidents.
Chief Supt Milsom said: “Travelling supporters need to be aware that their behaviour is closely monitored by our officers, who provide any evidence of incidents to their local police force to support applications for Football Banning Orders.
“I would strongly urge any supporters thinking of coming to West Yorkshire and becoming involved in football-related disorder to think again, because they are just as likely to receive a Football Banning Order as anyone else.”