As you will probably have gathered from the Trust ‘Away Travel’ items, we at PST have a very good working relationship with our own police. Indeed they meet with us throughout the season and are particularly helpful in dealing with the forces local to the area that Pompey are visiting. Unfortunately we occasionally find that not all forces are as sensible as Hampshire Constabulary. Many of you will remember our visit to Shrewsbury for the last game of the 2012/13 season when travelling Pompey fans were apparently randomly ‘kettled’ and held in a nightclub before being forcibly bussed to the stadium.
You will also know that we work very closely with the Football Supporters’ Federation on all issues affecting fans. When they heard the details of that day’s goings-on, they were quick to offer their advice and then put people in touch with a legal team that understand football issues. This resulted in a young Pompey fan challenging the police action. The FSF and the Pompey Supporters’ Trust each put up half of the fee to retain the recommended lawyer.
The FSF have today issued the following statement:
“ A young Portsmouth fan obtained £3500 in compensation from the police following an incident before Pompey’s game at Shrewsbury in April 2013.
John (not his real name) attended Portsmouth's final game of the 2012-13 season at Shrewsbury. He went by train with a friend and his friend’s dad. At Shrewsbury station, he became separated from his friend and his dad and he and a number of other Pompey fans were forcibly marched off by the police and made to enter an empty nightclub. There was no trouble going on and no-one told John why this was happening. All the fans were searched and held in the club for two hours before the police allowed them to go to the game.
John contacted the FSF after the game and we put him in touch with lawyers who brought a claim against the police. The police accepted that they should not have done what they did to John and agreed to pay him £3500 in compensation.
The FSF were very pleased with this outcome. It sends a signal to the police that law abiding fans will not be pushed around and treated like criminals. The FSF will support fans taking legal action to maintain their rights against police misconduct."
Every case has its own individual circumstances and will not necessarily all have the same outcome but initial advice is free.
If you were amongst the fans held at Shrewsbury and wish to take the matter further, please contact [email protected] or [email protected]