'Rowdy' fans ordered to sign football behaviour contracts

Five men have been ordered by police to sign football behaviour contracts following crowd trouble at a AFC Telford match.

The action followed "rowdy behaviour" at the FA Cup clash with Hednesford Town at the New Bucks Stadium in September.

The five, aged between 18 and 24, from the Chasetown, Rugeley, Cannock and Hednesford areas, have all been visited at their homes by police.

They have signed the football behaviour contracts which state they must not behave in a manner likely to cause harassment, alarm and distress to anyone attending or travelling to a game.

They also enter into a commitment with the police and football club not to cause or contribute to any violence or disorder in the UK or abroad.

If they breach the contract, they could be taken to court and issued with football banning orders.

Ch Insp Dave Bird, who holds the football portfolio for Staffordshire Police, said: "We work very closely with all five major clubs in the county and also with colleagues in other police forces to ensure a safe environment at football grounds.

"The use of football behaviour contracts is a new concept within our football policing strategy.

"The individuals we have targeted who have signed these contracts are fully aware that if they commit offences we will bring them into the criminal justice system to be dealt with appropriately."

Staffordshire Police spokeswoman Hazel Dockery added: "They were bothering people and their behaviour was rowdy."

It comes after Staffordshire Police made three arrests following crowd trouble at Hednesford's FA Cup defeat to Crawley Town last month.

Three arrests were made after fans entered the pitch and threw missiles during the home defeat at Keys Park.

Police officers scoured CCTV footage afterwards.

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