‘Nazi salute’ EDL supporter banned from football matches

A football hooligan who performed a Nazi salute and unveiled an English Defence League flag has been banned from football matches.

Lincoln City supporter Peter Briggs, 19, was associated with several violent flare-ups at football matches between 2009 and February this year. He appeared at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, April 5, where Lincolnshire Police applied for a civil banning order against him.

The court heard Briggs was involved in clashes at Grimsby Town, Notts County and in Lincoln High Street when on July 24, 2010, the Imps played Celtic. Five people were taken to hospital and 27 people arrested.

During a match against Stockport on January 22 last year, bottles, glasses and chairs were used in a pub when the rival clubs clashed. Lincolnshire Police solicitor Daniel Richardson told the court: “Briggs unveiled a flag with Lincoln City Youth, EDL, No Surrender, printed on it. On May 7 last year Lincoln City lost to Aldershot, relegating the Imps from the Football League. People invaded the pitch and Briggs was one of those.”

The court heard that some of Briggs’s close associates were arrested following disorder at a game at Alfreton, where a security fence was torn down.

Mr Richardson went on to describe various exhibits, including CCTV and pictures of Briggs with the ‘Lincoln risk group’ with people performing a Nazi salute.

Briggs, of Bentley Drive, Bracebridge Heath, Lincoln, who was not represented by a solicitor, did not seek to contest the evidence.

Magistrates banned him from attending any football ground or any regulated UK matches in the UK for three years. Briggs will also have to surrender his passport so he cannot go to any games being played outside the UK.

He cannot be in the Sincil Bank area during the two hours before and after any games. He cannot be within a five-mile radius of any England games. If Lincoln are playing away, Briggs cannot use trains without permission from the British Transport Police.

Once two thirds of the order is completed, Briggs can apply to the court to consider shortening it.

It is usual to ban someone from football games in criminal proceedings. But after the disorder of the European Championships in 2000, changes were made allowing police to apply for civil banning orders.

They can be applied to anyone who has caused, or been involved in violence at football matches in the UK or any other country. It is seen as a preventative measure and police in Lincoln say it is working.

Football intelligence officer Andy Pearson said after the hearing: “We haven’t done our end of season statistics yet but we’ve been doing this operation for two years now and last season we reduced disorder by 58 per cent both at home and away.”

Lincolnshire Echo, 12 April 2012