Following a significant reduction in the number of Football Banning Orders in force (Covid restrictions reduced the number of incidents), the courts are now bracing themselves for an increase in the volume of such applications.
A recent report published by the Home Office provides an overview of the increasing number of arrests for football-related incidents. In due course, this will see a corresponding increase in the number of Football Banning Orders (FBO).
An increasing trend is evident, and recent changes to the approach to FBOs will mean a significant increase in the overall number of FBOs in force. This will mean that the statutory right to apply to end a Football Banning Order early will be increasingly relevant for those who receive an FBO as part of the sentence.
An application can be lodged with the court that imposed the original Football Banning Order to either vary or terminate the order. Either application will need to be carefully considered, and an approach made to the Dedicated Football Officer for the area to canvass their views.
Any application to terminate or revoke a Football Banning Order can only be made after two-thirds of the order has elapsed. If the application is refused, then you are not allowed to apply to revoke for a further six months, so expert legal advice is needed to ensure that the timing of any application is appropriate.
Stephen Halloran of Lawtons Solicitors London Office, an expert in Football-related cases, dealt with a recent situation where our client received a three-year FBO for an offence of Violent Disorder committed in 2018 but was only sentenced in 2020. The client had made significant progress in the intervening period and wanted to apply for early termination. A considered approach was made to the relevant Dedicated Football Officer, and an application was lodged with the Crown Court that made the original order.
The Crown Prosecution Service was consulted and did not object to the termination of the FBO. Of course, it is a matter for the judge to decide and with all relevant material before the court, the judge agreed to end the Football Banning Order early.
Lawtons Solicitors have a particular level of expertise in such applications. We can discuss funding options and are able to provide a nationwide service for privately funded cases. Simply contact us today to find out more.