A new agreement set up between the club and police will now mean that any fan who is reported, arrested, fined or convicted of an offence whilst travelling to or from Leeds United football fixtures on the railway network may now be penalised by the club.
Penalties can range from fans having their account with the club suspended or their season ticket withdrawn, to match bans or even a life ban, depending on the offence.
Inspector Pete Kooper from BTP explained, “It’s great that we are now linking in with Leeds United to all work towards one goal, which is to show football related crime and anti-social behaviour on the rail network the red card.
“We welcome football fans onto the rail network and work hard with the rail industry and the clubs to make sure fans get to the match, safely, securely and on time.
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“The vast majority of travelling fans are a credit to their club and cause no issues. Sadly, however, a small minority of supporters do engage in anti social behaviour and can be intent on causing trouble and it is these people we are intent on targeting working closely with the club.
“We will always strive to ensure the safely of all fans and have officers on hand on match days to escort trains and help out at stations. It’s really important that we deal with any trouble swiftly and robustly to ensure other fans and rails users and not subjected to intimidation of any other form of anti social behaviour, which when in the confined space of a train can be very daunting.”
Police and the club are asking fans to -
•Behave in a way which will present Leeds United in a positive light
•Comply with any requests made by rail staff or officers.
•Please don’t abuse or harass rail staff, other passengers or officers, they are just doing their job
•Avoid shouting, swearing, chanting or playing loud music. What you may perceive as banter or fun can be very intimidating for others in a confined space
•Be aware and considerate of how your actions may affect others
•Don’t bring alcohol onto the train when it’s designated as dry
•Smoking and illegal drugs are not allowed on board trains or at stations.
•Report any unacceptable behaviour from other fans or passengers to us
To mark the new approach, stewards from Leeds United will be out and about with officers at Leeds station ahead of the Sheffield United match on Saturday to meet and greet supporters.