Police issue warning over anti-Semitic abuse after football banning orders issued
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Nottinghamshire Police and Nottingham Forest have warned football fans that anti-Semitic chanting will not be tolerated at tonight’s Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur (kick-off 8pm).
In relation to last season’s match, when Tottenham came to the City Ground, police investigated reports of anti-Semitic comments which resulted in two people being banned from games and having to participate in the educational Kick It Out programme before being allowed back into the stadium to watch matches.
In addition, a man currently remains on bail and is due to appear in court early next year in relation to anti-Semitic comments made inside the ground towards the end of the game.
Nottinghamshire Police and its partners, including football clubs, Kick It Out, and the UK Football Policing Unit, remain united in their zero-tolerance stance towards all forms of hate.
Robust action was also taken by police and partners following previous reports of homophobic abuse following the Brighton and Hove Albion FC versus Nottingham Forest FC game played at the City Ground on Saturday 25 November.
Investigations into these reports resulted in seven people being banned from attending football matches.
Inquiries remain ongoing, with six of the seven banned individuals having already been interviewed by police regarding these matters. They will go through the Kick It Out hate crime programme and all remain subject of club bans.
Chief Superintendent Sukesh Verma, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “We know the overwhelming majority of supporters who enjoy watching live matches in our force area every season do so in a perfectly well-behaved manner, but sadly there remains a small minority who view football as an excuse to do and say things that are just totally unacceptable.
“We have no desire to take the fun or the atmosphere out of the game, but there is a line that should never be crossed.
"Hate crime in all its forms, including the use of anti-Semitic or homophobic language, will not be tolerated and we will take swift action against those involved.
“If this line is crossed, we will always work with clubs to identify those responsible and bring them to justice.
“We will take robust action against anyone found to be using hate speech. This will include arrests, criminal investigations, and where appropriate prosecutions at court. Offenders may also receive lengthy banning orders, preventing them from attending matches, as a result of their behaviour.
“We would urge any football fans with information on such incidents to speak with officers or stewards at the ground or call 101 so that offenders can be found and face the consequences of their actions.”