The ‘English Disease’ — Cured or in Remission? An Analysis of Police Responses to Football Hooliganism in the 1990s

Abstract

Incidents of football-related disorder are still evident at league and national team fixtures in England. This article assesses the levels and trends of this disorder, and examines the methods used to police hooliganism in the 1990s, including the use of closed-circuit television, private police and police intelligence gathering. Although it is acknowledged that these strategies have had some impact in reducing levels of disorder, the number of incidents of violence still occurring seems to indicate that ‘solving the problem’ of football-related disorder is not simply a matter of concentrating on organised hooligan gangs, and it is contended that much of the ‘hooliganism’ is unorganised and spontaneous. The role of the media in amplifying incidents, and the subsequent construction of hooligan identities, is also assessed.

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Garland, J., Rowe, M. The ‘English Disease’ — Cured or in Remission? An Analysis of Police Responses to Football Hooliganism in the 1990s. Crime Prev Community Saf 1, 35–47 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.cpcs.8140034

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Keywords

  • Football hooliganism
  • public order policing strategies
  • crime prevention
  • identity
  • closed-circuit television (CCTV)