Norwich City Football Club support opposition to senior officer’s view on funding of policing at matches

Norwich City has backed comments made by the Football League opposing the view of a senior police officer that clubs should pay for the cost of policing a wider area around grounds.

Only the bill for policing inside grounds and the immediate vicinity is currently met by clubs, but assistant chief constable Andy Holt, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) lead for football policing, said: 'Our experience in policing shows that football matches tend to lead to an increase in crime and disorder in the areas surrounding football 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.

'There are no plans to change the guidance which covers how police forces recover the costs associated with football policing from clubs. However, this study provides a further understanding of the affect that football matches can have on crime within our communities and will help inform the service should any future discussions take place on recovering costs associated with policing football.'

A spokesman for Norwich City said the club would not comment directly on the issue, but added it 'would support comments made by the Football League'.

In a statement which was agreed with the Premier League, the Football League 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.

'We are always happy to discuss how it might be possible to further reduce costs, or indeed how football can help the police tackle youth crime, but we fail to see why football fans should pay twice for policing.'

Figures obtained from a Freedom of Information Request (FOI) have revealed that Norwich City has had to pay a fixed price of �200,000 for the cost of policing Carrow Road and the immediate area around the ground in 2011/12.

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The request, which was sent to Norfolk police, show that the force recovered �69,180 from the Canaries' for policing the 2009/10 season, �103, 886 for the 2010/11 season and �200,000 for the 2011/12 season, including �17, 539 for hosting Arsenal at Carrow Road in November, which is paid in three instalments throughout the season.

A spokesman for Norfolk police said they had nothing further to add to Mr Holt's statement.

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