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Middle class ‘coke heads’ found with the drug at football matches will face a five-year ban, the Prime Minister will announce today.
Thugs convicted of using cocaine at games will face a new extended football banning order, and forced to surrender their passports.
Anyone caught in possession of Class A drugs – or supplying it – in connection with football could be banned from attending matches for five years, in a bid to tackle violence and disruption.
Tougher punishments for ‘recreational’ users who regularly flout the law will be introduced in a White Paper this summer.
The new sanctions are expected to include including curfews, larger fines and the temporary removal of passports and driving licences.
Policing minister Kit Malthouse said ‘increasingly painful’ and ‘escalating’ penalties must be taken to ‘maximise the deterrent’ and that no sanction was off the table.
Johnson (pictured at PMQs yesterday) will say: ‘Taking illegal drugs is never a victimless crime’
The Prime Minister said: ‘Middle class coke heads should stop kidding themselves, their habit is feeding a war on our streets driving misery and crime across our country and beyond.
‘That’s why we are stepping up our efforts to make sure those who break the law face the full consequences – because taking illegal drugs is never a victimless crime.’
Mr Malthouse said: ‘It’s been a thrilling football season, but at some games we’ve seen ugly violence that has shocked all the leagues.
‘More and more the police are finding Class A drugs at the heart of that disorder and so we must act.
‘The football family wants every ground to be a safe space for fans, especially children, and so do we.’
He added: ‘Football banning orders have been a game changer in rooting out racism and violence at football, and now we want them to do the same for drug-related disorder.
‘The Government is determined to drive down drug use and bring home to all who take them that drugs bring consequences.’
The measures are expected to be introduced during the 2022/2023 season, following police concern that drug abuse is fuelling a rise in violence at matches.
Removing the passports of anyone found with Class A drugs at a game will mean they are unable to travel to overseas fixtures.
Football banning orders are imposed by a court and can currently only be imposed on offenders convicted of violence, disorder and racist or homophobic chanting.
They were recently extended to cover online hate offences.
Latest figures show that last August there were 1,359 football banning orders in force, with 208 new orders issued that season.
An official Home Office report said: ‘The total number of football banning orders has been on a consistent downward trend since the 2011 to 2012 football season.’
But numbers may recently have been affected by the vast majority of football matches during last season being played without spectators, due to Covid restrictions, it added.
National Police Chiefs’ Council spokesman Mark Roberts said: ‘I am pleased the Government has updated the football banning order legislation to counter the growing issues of disorder we have seen, in part driven by the use of Class A drugs.
‘Policing and football authorities all support this measure and it is an important step in ensuring that the use of drugs at football is tackled so the majority of fans, particularly those with families, can enjoy themselves without suffering anti-social behaviour and violence.
‘The United Kingdom Football Policing Unit will be co-ordinating activity with police forces and clubs from the start of next season to ensure that we make the best use of this legislation to target the use of drugs at football.’