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Tyne Talk

Police Look To Back Safe Standing Areas

10 years ago

Momentum is gaining all the time for the introduction of safe standing to Premier League grounds such as St.James’ Park.

The latest interested party who may be on the verge of backing safe standing is the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).

At a parliamentary debate on the subject organised by the FSF (Football Supporters’ Federation), Bryan Drew representing ACPO  had this to say;

“ACPO is very happy to engage in this discussion and the debate. ACPO need to be convinced that this change would enhance safety and security. I can assure you there is an ongoing discussion among police commanders and ACPO colleagues about this issue”.

A superintendent Steven Graham of West Midlands police who is an experienced match commander said;

“There is a mood change within police match commanders and I would like to think my chief constable would not oppose a move to safe standing. The idea that if people are put in a standing area they will behave criminally is totally wrong.

We have experience of English football in the 1980, and of German standing areas now, but we have very little experience of what standing would look like in the UK now. I would not be riddled with fear if I was policing a standing area”.

(Read excellent full article at The Guardian)

It would be nice to think Newcastle United might add their support to supporters having a choice, Aston Villa have supported the idea of safe seating and already identified an area of the ground where they would like to trial it.

West Ham chairman, David Gold, has also said he’d like to bring in standing areas, while Swansea are considering standing areas as part of their plans to expand the Liberty Stadium.

St.James’ Park is desperately in need of a hand with the atmosphere and when you see footage of German games you can see how it enhances their football matches.

Maybe this will be one of those issues where after so many years you’ve given up on there ever being standing areas and suddenly a momentum builds where the safety angle is shown to ‘stand up’. If the police give their backing then it could get very interesting.

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