Banned fans hand in their passports

RICHARD BALLS Dozens of football hooligans in East Anglia have handed in their passports ahead of the deadline put in place to prevent them travelling to Germany for the World Cup.


Dozens of football hooligans in East Anglia have handed in their passports ahead of the deadline put in place to prevent them travelling to Germany for the World Cup.

Police last night confirmed that the 15 Norwich City fans with football banning orders had all handed over their travel documents as required.

Of the seven people in Suffolk with banning orders, four were known to have handed in their passports and police were confident that the others would comply.

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Cambridgeshire has 38 people on banning orders but it is not known how many had met the deadline.

Meanwhile, a Sheffield United fan arrested following a fracas outside Carrow Road before a Norwich City match in March became the latest individual to receive a three-year banning order yesterday.

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A total of 3,286 people were ordered to hand over pass-ports at local police stations before 5pm on Tuesday and will have to attend a police station every time England play in the World Cup.

A high-security operation will also be launched at UK ports and airports ahead of the tournament and police have a 'watch-list' of fans who are not subject to bans but against whom they have intelligence.

Police hope the banning orders will prevent the hard core of hooligans travelling to Germany, although hundreds of orders have lapsed over the last year and those fans will be able to go.

Those who are subject to banning orders and who fail to comply with travel restrictions could face six months in jail and fines of up to £5,000.

Crown Prosecution Service lawyers will travel to Germany to liaise with local courts when English trouble-makers are charged, sending back paperwork from German police stations and courts which will be used to obtain banning orders when convicted fans return home. Nearly 90 British police officers will also travel to Germany for the event.

At Norwich Magistrates Court yesterday, a visiting Sheffield United fan was banned from attending football matches for three years for his involvement in a violent incident outside the directors' entrance at Carrow Road.

Carl Harrison, 31, was captured on CCTV throwing punches during the disturb-ance at 2.45pm on March 18 which caused distress to those close by, including women and children. He was arrested and charged with a public-order offence and possession of small amounts of cocaine and cannabis.

Judith Piggin, prosecuting, said that following his arrest he was again involved in trouble on the train home for which he was given a caution by Cambridgeshire police.

Harrison claimed the trouble had flared up after Norwich City supporters racially abused one of his friends and threw food at them. The court was told he had admitted the offence immediately and had no previous criminal convictions.

Magistrate David Harley said: "This took place at a football match, there were large crowds of people and people were put in fear as a result of this incident, including women and children. This makes it very serious."

He gave Harrison a three-year football banning order and ordered him to serve a total of 100 hours of unpaid work in the community.

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