FOOTBALL troublemakers are being told to surrender their passports ahead of Euro 2016 – or face being arrested by West Midlands Police.
The force’s specialist Football Unit has sent warning letters to all 160 fans with Football Banning Orders (FBO) to their name – orders that prevent them attending this summer’s football fiesta – and instructing them to hand over passports to ensure they don’t travel to France.
People bound by FBO conditions must hand over travel documents to a designated police station during the passport surrender window that ran for 48 hours earlier this week.
West Midlands Police has warned those who ignore the conditions of their order will be arrested and taken to court where they face a jail term of up to six months or fine rising to £5,000.
Officers will also be at Birmingham Airport in the build-up and during the competition to look out for known hooligans.
And the force will have spotters in France to keep an eye out for those who are banned from travelling and anyone it is believed could cause issues.
Chief Inspector Nick Rowe, said: “Anticipation is growing for a summer of football and we want people to enjoy the tournament – but banning orders are there for a reason and known troublemakers will not be welcome at Euro 2016.
“We will actively pursue anyone who fails to hand over their passport; although in previous years the majority have understood the consequences of ignoring the order and complied with the conditions.
“People may see a more visible police presence at the airport but there is no reason to be alarmed; we will have a targeted, intelligence-led approach.”
An FBO usually runs for between three and ten years and prevents anyone convicted of football-related offences from attending matches or going to overseas tournaments.
They are not only given to people convicted of violence or disorder but those who commit a football-related offence such as fighting or damaging property in a pub whilst watching a match.
Passports will be retained until the end of the competition and will then be available for collection.