As we enter a new year, British Transport Police is renewing its commitment to improving the experience of football supporters and other passengers also using trains to travel on match day.
Assistant Chief Constable, Robin Smith, explains: “Football has an incredible power to bring together people from all ages and walks of life to get behind their team. We are committed to making sure that everyone travelling on match day has a good day out supporting their team – free from the fear of violence and discrimination.
“However, we know that the behaviour of a minority of travelling supporters on trains is similar to what we see on the football terraces and is completely unacceptable. All too often our officers hear from passengers and rail staff who have been subjected to disgusting levels of abuse, which has absolutely no place in our society.
“Over the past few months we have seen a number of football clubs taking decisive and prompt action against anti-social and criminal behaviour. We are immensely supportive of clubs like Brighton and Hove Albion FC and Chelsea FC, amongst others, who have boldly spoken out against such shameful behaviour, banning those involved from games.
“We understand that whilst these types of incidents are carried out by a small number of senseless individuals – the impact they can have on fellow travelling supporters, passengers and rail staff around them is huge, and not just limited to the football ground.
“We want to make sure that supporters travelling to and from football matches are able to do so in as safe and as comfortable way as possible. We’re working closely with football clubs, train companies and the Football Supporters’ Federation to develop new plans to tackle the small and dangerous minority involved in this totally inexcusable behaviour.
“In the meantime, a key part in stopping this behaviour is to tell us about it so we can take action – if you’re travelling to or from a match on the train and see anything, you can report it to us discretely by texting 61016 with the details.”