MP’s crackdown on ref attacks

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Attacks on referees could decrease further if footballers are jailed said Daventry’s MP.

Conservative Chris Heaton-Harris, who has refereed for 33 years, believes the police and Crown Prosecution Service have stopped treating assaults on referees with the same level of seriousness as previous years.

He wants the Government to put pressure on, saying these incidents will not be tolerated and build on the work of footballing authorities in tackling the problem.

The MP, who has led a Commons adjournment debate on the issue, said: “I hear lots of stories that people aren’t being charged as the police and CPS believe the footballing sanctions of an amateur player being banned for a year or five years is enough.

“But in some cases when you are talking about grievous bodily harm (GBH) or aggravated assault that’s not enough.

“Football has done as much as it can. The thing that will make a big difference is if a footballer playing on a Sunday morning thinks spending a couple of years in jail will be the consequence for assault or GBH, then he might not do it.”

This message will be passed down to the police and CPS.