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Met crackdown on football fans carrying drugs at matches as three banned

Cocaine and other drugs found on football fans will lead to lengthy bans and possible prosecution, the Met has warned (PA )
Cocaine and other drugs found on football fans will lead to lengthy bans and possible prosecution, the Met has warned (PA )

The Metropolitan Police has vowed to crack down on football fans found with drugs at games as three more have been given lengthy bans.

A football banning order can be imposed for a minimum of three years for any football fan found with drugs on a matchday.

During Millwall’s Championship match with Preston North End at The Den in January, officers received a report through the anonymous text line of a man taking drugs and using homophobic language towards a Preston player.

Frederick Hardley, 28, from Worthing, was arrested and pleaded guilty to using threatening or abusive words and possession of a Class B drug.

The Met applied for a three-year banning order which was issued by the court.

He also paid more than £700 in costs and received a six-month conditional discharge for being in possession of cannabis.

Officers from the Met also successfully applied for three-year banning orders for two Manchester City fans who were found in possession of cocaine.

Timothy Blakey, 26, from Boroughbridge, and Nathan Urmstone, 30, from Stockport, will be banned from all football matches for the majority of the next three seasons.

As the Met’s preparations for the upcoming European Championships continue, all three men will also be banned from travelling to Germany for the tournament.

Their ban is in place for all international matches which includes the World Cup in America, Mexico and Canada.

Superintendent Gerry Parker from the football policing unit said: “The Met is committed to reducing crime and anti-social behaviour at football fixtures. To ensure football fans have the best experience at matches, we are working hard to deter and detect drug related crime. This means we will apply for fans found with drugs to receive a banning order and will appeal court results if the ban is not imposed.

“People should be able to go to games, enjoy the match and come home safely. We want to support all fans and members of our community affected by negative behaviours that are exacerbated by drugs. We will work hard to ensure we keep people safe throughout the season and summer tournaments.”