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Football summit hears from passengers and staff who say culture of thuggish behaviour is a national disgrace

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British Transport Police Chief Constable Paul Crowther and Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe listen to rail passenger Dawn Parkinson at the football summit hosted by BTP

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Don’t accept it, report it and let’s change it – says BTP Chief Constable

A summit which brought together football clubs, authorities, campaign organisations, media and train companies to consider the behaviour of travelling football fans has concluded that we have a culture of pervasive tolerance of thuggish behaviour which needs to be tackled.

The summit, hosted by British Transport Police Chief Constable Paul Crowther, heard from members of the public and rail staff who have experienced the intimidating and frightening behaviour of fans whilst travelling on the trains. Guests in attendance included Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.

Paul Crowther said: “Listening to the experiences of passengers and staff, what is clear is that, as a society we have, unfortunately, become too tolerant of this type of casual yobbish behaviour. In the confines of a train carriage, ordinary rail passengers and staff find themselves subjected to the chanting, foul language and poor behaviour of so-called fans, as they anxiously wait to see if it spills over into actual violence.

“I don’t believe we should just ignore it or accept it – and today’s meeting is a starting point to changing that acceptance.”

Following the summit, a report into the problem and possible solutions, will be created with members of the public encouraged to share their experiences and contribute.

Mr Crowther added “My message to anyone – passenger or staff – who finds themselves in an intimidating or, worse, frightening situation because of the behaviour of fans is don’t accept it, report it and together let’s change it.

“We are well aware that the vast majority of football fans behave sensibly and safely when they travel. We want to find ways to protect and support those fans, as well as staff and all other members of the public from the actions of a small minority.”

Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, said: “We have made great progress in tackling the violence and intimidating behaviour from people intent on using football as a cover for their criminal behaviour.

“But there is more to do. Today is a timely opportunity to focus on the issues - especially the behaviour away from the grounds such as on the transport network and public places.

“It is not acceptable for those going about their day to day business to feel frightened and threatened by thugs who have no right to be called fans. By working together with clubs and other forces we can make even more progress.”

Passengers and staff are being encouraged to share their experiences by texting 61016, using the hashtag #RespectMyJourney.

For more information contact:

Glyn Hellam
British Transport Police - Pressdesk Manager
0300 123 9104
07920 509112

John Ellul
British Transport Police - National Pressdesk
0300 123 9104

For the latest news, updates and insight, follow BTP on Twitter: @btp_uk.

British Transport Police is the specialist, national police service for Britain’s railways. BTP deals with major and minor crime, disorder and incidents, and covers the rail system in England, Wales and Scotland, including London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, the Glasgow Subway and the Midland Metro and Croydon Tramlink systems. Its 2,880 police officers, 376 Police Community Support Officers, 251 Special Constables and 1,451 support staff are recruited and trained like those of local forces and have the same powers. Find out more at

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