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Statement on fences and barriers

The Standing Committee of the European Convention on Spectator Violence and Misbehaviour at Sports Events and in particular at football matches at its 17th meeting at Strasbourg on 5-6 June 1997, adopted the following statement on fences and barriers:

"The consequences of major outbreaks of spectator violence and misbehaviour in the 1980s included, inevitably, restrictive measures such as the erection of perimeter fences and obstacles to protect the playing area. This has led to restricted views and a less welcoming environment.

Certain measures which could eventually make it possible to remove perimeter fences have been identified.

The Standing Committee notes these with satisfaction and looks forward to the day when such fences and barriers will no longer be needed.

The Standing Committee considers that the basic prerequisites for this, developed to a sufficient standard, include:

- The introduction of all seater and numbered seats stadia, equipped with closed-circuit television and command and control posts.

- Adequate management of ticket sales.

- The improvement of crowd control management techniques (both by police forces and by football bodies), with a growing role for stewards illustrating the shift towards self-policing and self-responsibility.

- Better national and European police cooperation for the identification of potential trouble makers and better security.

- The introduction of appropriate legislation, with effective sanctions for convicted offenders.

All Parties to the Convention agree to work in the same direction so that major matches can be sources of peaceful enjoyment.

The example of Euro '96 shows that if all other measures are in place, perimeter fences can be removed and police presence reduced in stadia.

At its next meeting, the Standing Committee aims to adopt a strategy to achieve this."