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Those with football banning orders told to surrender their passports

We are kicking off our operation in the force area ahead of the start of the EUFA Nations League in Portugal next month.

And that means that around 60 people who have football banning orders in the force area are required to hand in their passports before the deadline dates of June 1-3. Letters have been sent out explaining why they need to do this.

Anyone that has failed to return their passport by June 4– unless they have applied for an exemption – can expect a visit from us, where failure to comply could result in re-arrest.

Anyone subject to a FBO is required to hand in their passport, unless they have an exemption. They are not allowed to travel to England matches in this country or even travel overseas when England are playing abroad.

There are currently 62 people with football banning orders in the Avon and Somerset force area. Of these some do not hold passports, others their passports are due to run out before the tournament in Portugal, while others have been given exemption to travel.

The tournament starts on 5 June when Portugal v Switzerland play. England’s opening game will be 24 hours later when they play the Netherlands.

Those who surrender their passports will be able to collect them at the conclusion of England’s involvement in the competition.

We are keen to stress football banning orders are not issued purely as a result of incidents committed at football matches. They can also be provided as a result of other types of football-related disorder.

Anyone going to watch a match on a television at a public showing, such as a public house, who becomes embroiled in any form of anti-social or violent behaviour, could find themselves with a FBO.

A banning order prevents attendance at any regulated match for a period of between three and five years – if the individual is not subjected to a custodial sentence. For those who are imprisoned, the banning order extends to a period of between six and 10 years. Other conditions requested on a FBO may include exclusion zones around stadia before and after home fixtures, plus a day-long ban on travel to towns and cities, where away matches are being played.

There are currently other suspects going through the courts, who have been charged with football-related offences and football banning orders are being sought.

Throughout the football competition we will be providing high profile reassurance patrols to ensure any potential problems are dealt with robustly.

Those who decide to watch matches in pubs and clubs need to ensure they are able to get home safely – and not behind the wheel of a vehicle if they have been drinking. A conviction for drink driving might result in the driver not only losing their licence but possibly their job as well.

Chief Inspector John Holt said: “We are rolling out well-rehearsed plans for the tournament. We hope that it will be a successful and enjoyable tournament for fans, who will put fun and enjoyment at the top of their agenda.

“However we will not tolerate any football-related anti-social behaviour or violence and will deal robustly with such problems.

“We have demonstrated in the past that we do not tolerate any form of football disorder in Avon and Somerset and will deal with perpetrators. More than 60 people in the force area have football banning orders, which prohibit them from enjoying their football and also places restrictions on travelling abroad. More are due before the courts and we will be applying for further football banning orders to be imposed,” said C/Insp Holt.