§ Mr. Tony Banks
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the progress made in implementing each of the recommendations made in the report by the committee of inquiry into crowd safety and control at sports grounds.
§ Mr. John Patten
The Government's proposals for giving effect to the safety recommendations in the final report were set out in a consultative document produced in June 1986. All of these proposals except amendment to building regulations guidelines codes have been implemented.
The question of structural fire precautions and means of escape in buildings (including covered sports stands) is under review as part of the Government's comprehensive overhaul of the building regulations. It is the intention of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment to issue a consultative paper by the end of this year seeking comment on a package of proposals dealing with these issues.
The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 which came into force on 1 January 1986 had already extended the police powers of search and arrest in ways which help them to deal with troublemakers at football grounds. The Public Order Act 1986 created a new offence of disorderly conduct to cover hooliganism in football grounds as elsewhere.
A further recommendation was to review the provisions of the Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985 in relation to executive boxes. Following that review a relaxation of the controls over the sale and possession of alcohol in executive boxes was introduced in the Public Order Act 1986.
The Government's proposals for a membership scheme are contained in the Football Spectators Bill. This follows previous efforts to encourage the football authorities to introduce membership schemes on a voluntary basis.