This is how much Portsmouth FC have paid in police bills

POMPEY have forked out thousands of pounds on policing matches – with costs rocketing where trouble has been anticipated or clashes have broken out.

Monday, 4th March 2019, 5:51 pm
Updated Monday, 4th March 2019, 6:55 pm
Riot police line the ground during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match between Portsmouth and Southampton at Fratton Park on March 21, 2004 in Portsmouth, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The Fratton Park side paid out £304,289.91 over five years to Hampshire Constabulary for policing support during games.

It comes as the club has seen a number of fans convicted and jailed in recent years for violence and disorder.

Bills for games marred by clashes – with a single game in the 2016/17 season costing £10,060 – are higher.

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Stills from body-worn police cameras during violence before the Pompey-Plymouth game in 2017

Chief executive Mark Catlin said: ‘Supporters’ and fans’ safety at matches is paramount.’

He added: ‘As with all walks of life in finance you’re looking to keep a lid on costs – we wouldn’t put anyone’s safety or security at risk over financial matters.

‘These are the prices the police charged and they have to be paid.

‘Different fixtures throw up different security risks.’

Clubs are charged for any policing on their footprint – the ground and any other club-owned property. The total operation is likely to cost thousands more than what the club pays.

The 2017 April 14 Pompey v Plymouth game at Fratton Park eventually saw eight people jailed after 17 were charged with criminal offences.

A home game against Yeovil just days before on April 8 cost just £704.88 in police bills.

High-cost matches include against Plymouth on November 25, 2017, with a price of £8,686.74 and £4,190.76 against Peterborough on May 5 last year. The game against Blackburn on February 13 cost just £718.68.

Most games in the 2017/18 season varied in cost between £1,078 to £1,437, up from £704 per game in the previous season.

Games against Cheltenham, Plymouth, Newport and Luton cost much more, attracting bills of £6,908, £10,060, £4,122 and £9,645.

Premier League side Southampton paid out £956,915 from the start of the 2013/14 campaign to the end of the 2017/18 season at its St Mary’s Stadium home.

Hampshire Constabulary confirmed all money received is put towards that specific match day’s enforcement, with no profit made.

Each match has a threat and risk assessment, with officer numbers dependent on this.

The level of policing required is dependent on this. Pompey FC will make a request for police services.

The National Police Chiefs' Council currently sets the charging rates used by individual police forces when calculating fees.

A police spokesman added: ‘Hampshire Constabulary would never impose police on Portsmouth FC, such is the great relationship with the club. There is no rule which stipulates clubs must have police at fixtures – we are requested by the clubs.’

The data was requested by the Local Democracy Reporting Services’ reporter Will Rimell.