This Policy has been developed in line with an agreement by clubs in the Scottish Premiership to take responsibility for the actions of their own supporters at matches, both home and away. Accordingly the SPFL introduced new rules regarding Unacceptable Conduct at football matches with effect from 1st August, 2007. The SFA has also adopted these rules for Scottish Cup Matches.
Where a club is in breach of, or failure to fulfil the Rules relative to Unacceptable Conduct, the SPFL may take certain action against the Club. Examples of this include fines and deduction of points.
It is the policy of Hibernian Football Club (the Club) that Unacceptable Conduct will not be tolerated. Any individuals attending matches who are found to have engaged in Unacceptable Conduct may have disciplinary action taken against them. This may include removal of ticketing privileges, removal of season tickets and bans from stadia for a specified period/or other appropriate sanctions. Unacceptable Conduct may also lead to criminal charges. Reference should be made to the SPFL Rules regarding Unacceptable Conduct and Powers of the Board and Commissions when dealing with this policy.
The Home Club in any Official Match must ensure, so far as reasonably practicable,
i) good order and security
ii) that policies and procedures have been adopted and are implemented to prevent incidents of Unacceptable Conduct
iii) that any incidents of Unacceptable Conduct are effectively dealt with, at its Stadium on the occasion of an Official Match.
Each Club must ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, that its Players, officials, supporters, and any person exercising a function for or connected with the Club do not engage in Unacceptable
Conduct on the occasion of any Official Match. Any failure by a Club to discharge a requirement to which it is subject by virtue of the above Rules shall constitute a breach of these Rules.
Unacceptable Conduct is conduct which is violent or disorderly. Violent conduct includes any actual, attempted, or threatened physical violence against any person, or intentional damage to property. Disorderly conduct includes;
· Conduct which stirs up or sustains, or is likely or is designed to stir up or sustain hatred or ill will against or towards individuals or groups of people because of:
· Colour, race, nationality, (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origin
· Membership, or presumed membership, of a religious group or of a social cultural group with perceived religious affiliation
· Sexual orientation
· Transgender identity
· Using threatening, abusive or insulting words or conduct
· Displaying writing or any other thing which is threatening, abusive or insulting
The Club will take all reasonably practicable steps to deter and prevent individuals from engaging in Unacceptable Conduct. Where incidents of Unacceptable Conduct are reported or detected, Stewards contracted by the Club, will in the first instance be tasked to take all reasonably practicable steps to properly deal with the situation and bring the matter to a satisfactory conclusion. There may be occasions where it is necessary to seek the assistance of Lothian and Borders Police to deal with incidents of Unacceptable Conduct within or around the Stadium. Where, for operational or other reasons determined by the Chief Steward, Event Day Safety Officer or Police Event Commander it is not possible or practicable to directly intervene in an incident all reasonable steps will be taken to detect individuals engaged in Unacceptable Conduct.
This may include:
· Identification of individuals by seat row and number and if possible supported by CCTV.
· Written information from Stewards or Police Officers.
· Disclosure to and exchange of information with other SPFL Clubs.
· Any information available from postmatch de-briefs.
· Any other source of information available.
Note: For the purposes of dealing with incidents of Unacceptable Conduct, Season Ticket holders or purchasers of advanced tickets will be deemed to be responsible for their allocated seat(s). Where the incident of Unacceptable Conduct is not the subject of a Police Enquiry, the Stadium & Facilities Manager or the Club Secretary will, where required, carry out any further enquiry necessary to bring the matter to a conclusion. This may involve preparing reports and making recommendations to the Board on any disciplinary action required to be taken against individuals and/or making recommendations within the Club to reduce and eradicate Unacceptable Conduct.
The introduction of this policy which is in line with SPFL agreements places additional responsibility on the Club to ensure individuals do not engage in Unacceptable Conduct within Easter Road Stadium and whilst visiting other SPL Clubs. The subject of Unacceptable Conduct is already under close scrutiny and the Club seeks the co-operation and support of all supporters in its efforts to reduce and eradicate such behaviour.