Banned Hull City fan caught at KC Stadium by police spotters
A HULL City supporter will appear in court next week after breaching a football banning order.
Eagle-eyed police football spotters clocked the fan at the game against Barnsley at the KC Stadium last weekend.
One of the police spotters, Garry Neal, said it was rare for banned supporters to breach the order.
He said: "We discovered the lad in the north-east corner of the stand.
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"We identified him through photographs we have of all those who are banned.
"He tried to evade us but he was arrested.
"It will be up to the courts what happens to him but he wasn't involved in any disorder.
"He could get anything from a conditional discharge to six months in prison.
"We don't come across many people at games who have been banned. It is quite unusual."
Football spotters have been around for 15 years and are crucial in ensuring football banning orders are enforced.
PC Neal said: "There are 56 fans who are subject to banning orders and they tend to stick to it.
"So it is rare when we do find a fan who flouts the ban."
"There are football spotters for each professional club who can pick out individuals who are breaching a banning order.
"There are usually two spotters from each club.
"People usually receive banning orders due to football violence."
But the role of the football spotter is not clandestine.
PC Neal said: "We are in uniform and not undercover.
"It is a lot safer so people know who we are if there is trouble.
"We have become regular faces at football matches so many of the fans know us now and can help with intelligence.
"Only a minority of fans cause trouble and we often help supporters with directions and where to park."
Operations commander Chief Inspector Rich Kirven believes the system in place is working well.
He said: "There are a number of tools available to us to deal with football disorder.
"We have a group of officers who work with Hull City including our footballer spotters who also go to away games.
"The whole idea is to liaise with supporters and pick up intelligence.
"This allows us to identify the small minority of those who cause trouble and speak with them.
"It helps us build up a picture so we can, hopefully, anticipate any problems before they happen.
"At last Saturday's match this chap chose to ignore the banning order.
"Through local knowledge one of our spotters identified him."
A 22-year-old man will appear at Hull Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, February 12, charged with breaching a football banning order.
Humberside Police has a Twitter account where fans can be kept informed on match days.
Type in @HumpoleventHull to follow the updates provided by Humberside Police.