Publication - Research and analysis

An Evaluation of Football Banning Orders in Scotland

Published: 29 Jul 2011
Part of:

This report presents the findings of an evaluation into the use of football banning order (FBO) legislation in Scotland.

72 page PDF

1.1 MB

72 page PDF

1.1 MB

An Evaluation of Football Banning Orders in Scotland

72 page PDF

1.1 MB


Football Banning Orders: the Scottish data
This analysis covers two groups of individuals: the ' FBO' group, those who actually received an FBO in the period up to 2010; and the 'non- FBO' group, a sample of 100 from the 260 or so individuals identified to the researchers as being potential recipients of an FBO, but for whom an order was not granted by the relevant court. Data was obtained on the conviction histories of the two groups, as well as evidence concerning the conviction that did or did not lead to an FBO.

The aim of the analysis presented here is to compare these two groups in broad terms. For example, what were the geographical and age distributions of the two groups? Were the FBO group more prolific offenders before receiving an order? Did they appear to offend less after it? What types of offence were linked to receiving an FBO?

Note the distinction between the FBO group, which is essentially a census of all those individuals who have received an FBO in Scotland, and the 'non- FBO' group, which is a sample from a larger group of failed applications. Because of variations in the data received direct comparisons between the two groups were not always possible; furthermore, there were definitional differences in the data obtained, and the two data sets had very different patterns of missing data. Formal tests of statistical inference, while sometimes included below, should therefore be treated with caution, and the data presented should be seen primarily as descriptive and indicative. A further note is that the records obtained related to successful prosecutions only; where the discussion concerns trials, these are only trials which the individual was found guilty (so we do not know what offences may have been committed and not detected, detected and not brought to trial, and/or detected and tried without success).

Geographical Distribution
Glasgow/Strathclyde dominates both FBO and non- FBO groups (Table 1). Half of all the failed applications were made in Strathclyde, while just under two-fifths of the FBOs were issued in Glasgow Sheriff's court. Elsewhere there was some potential variation, and it is possible that Edinburgh/Lothian and Borders has fewer FBOs issued than might be expected, while Aberdeen/Grampian has more (20 per cent of all FBOs issued at Aberdeen Sheriff's court, compared with 10 per cent of failed FBOs in Grampian region).

Note that, for several reasons, it was not possible to combine the geographical breakdown. For example, 8 non- FBO cases were recorded by British Transport Police, meaning it was impossible to know which would have been the appropriate Sheriff's court(s).

Table 1

Region for non- FBO cases Courts issuing FBOs
Percentages Percentages
Strathclyde 51 Glasgow Sheriff 39
L&B 12 Aberdeen Sheriff 20
Grampian 10 Dundee Sheriff 10
Tayside 9 Hamilton Sheriff 8
BTP 8 Edinburgh Sheriff 7
Central 3 Alloa Sheriff 5
DG 3 Greenock Sheriff 2
Fife 2 Inverness Sheriff 2
Northern 2 Perth Sheriff 2
Total (numbers) 100 Falkirk Sheriff 1
Kilmarnock Sheriff 1
Livingston Sheriff 1
Paisley Sheriff 1
Total (numbers) 87

A similar pattern can be observed in relation to the clubs supported by the FBO and non- FBO groups (Table 2). The Old Firm dominates, with Rangers the most popular club among both groups. By contrast, it again appears that Hearts and Hibs were less well represented in the FBO group than might be expected, with substantially fewer successful applications than unsuccessful ones.

Table 2

Team supported, FBO and non- FBO groups
Team No Yes Total
Rangers 26 28 54
Celtic 11 21 32
Aberdeen 10 12 22
Hearts 16 3 19
Hibs 7 4 11
Dundee 3 6 9
Dundee United 2 1 3
Scotland 3 0 3
Other 12 11 23
Total 90 86 176

Figure 1: Age, FBO and Non- FBO groups (percentage)

Figure 1: Age, FBO and Non-FBO groups (percentage)

Notes: Age on first day of order for FBO group; on day of trial for non- FBO group.

There was little difference in the age profiles of the FBO and non- FBO groups. The mean age of the FBO group on the day the order commenced was 27.1 years ( S.D. 8.8); while the mean age of the non- FBO group on the trial date was 27.9 years ( S.D. 10.5). The age distribution of the two groups was also similar (see Figure 1): overall, there is very little to suggest any substantive difference in the ages of those who received an FBO and those who did not.

Note that everyone in the sample was male.