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Hooligans: the movie

Grimsby college employs graduates of its broadcast courses to make pre-match DVD briefings for police. Joe Clancy reports

A college is playing a leading role in helping the police tackle the scourge of football hooliganism.

The Grimsby institute of further and higher education is developing a DVD for Humberside police to show to officers and stewards on match days.

The force decided pre-match briefings - previously carried out verbally - would be received and understood better with visual aids to accompany the information.

It plans to use the DVD to help them police matches at newly-promoted first division club Scunthorpe United.

Now the college hopes to win orders from other clubs in this country and even abroad to produce similar material to combat organised football violence.

The DVDs will show pictures of the football stadium and surrounding areas, including pubs regularly used during match days, to provide officers and stewards with the intelligence they need to effectively combat disorder.

It will also outline operational objectives, risk assessments, legislation, evacuation procedures and crisis management, as well as correct practice for taking statements, recording arrests and uniform and equipment requirements.

Police contacted East Coast Media and Image Studios, run by the college, at the start of the season seeking assistance in producing the DVD.

Four former broadcast media students at Grimsby were involved in scripting, filming, editing, and producing computer graphics for the product which they hope to deliver by the end of next month.

Andy McKinnon, the studio's media projects manager, said: "If we get it right for Scunthorpe, we will be talking to other police forces about replicating the DVD for other football clubs."

He said the idea behind the studios is to allow former Grimsby Institute students who have set up their own business to use the college's equipment to get a start in their careers.

"There are about 50 companies on our books from across the Yorkshire and Humberside region.

"We charge them nothing in the first year, 25 per cent in the second, and 50 per cent in the third year. We also go out to try to win contracts for them.

"It is all done on a commercial basis. We take a share of the revenue from those contracts which goes into central coffers so the institute gets a financial benefit.

"Students also benefit because it gives them employment opportunities.

Ultimately we hope enrolment will improve as more students discover that when they complete their courses, they can move into a sheltered studio straight away and we will find work for them. No other educational establishment in the country has the facilities we have."

Chief Inspector Peter Norman of Humberside police said: "This briefing aid will allow us to enhance our match day preparations and will particularly benefit police officers and stewards brought in from other areas for high-profile fixtures."

The DVD is being put together as police across the country begin a crackdown on hooligans. The moves will see troublemakers banned from attending the World Cup in Germany next year.

Instead of being given cautions or fixed-penalty notices for crimes such as threatening behaviour, misbehaving fans will be taken to court and given football banning orders. This means that their passports will be confiscated when the England team is playing abroad.

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