Research Groups
Geographical Analysis
Designing Out Crime
Crime Policy and Evaluation
Terrorism and Organised Crime
Forensic Sciences


Tel: +44 (0)20 3108 3206


Geographical Analysis: GMP Trafford Experiment


The ‘Footprint’ Project: a spatio-temporal analysis of crime around football stadia

Dates: January 2011 – September 2011

Researchers: Justin Kurland, Shane D Johnson and Nick Tilley

Partners: Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), United Kingdom Football Policing Unit (UKFPU), West Midlands Police (WMP), West Yorkshire Police (WYP), South Yorkshire Police (SYP) and British Transport Police (BTP)

As a result of several football related projects conducted by UCL, including recent involvement in assessing temporal patterns of alcohol-related crime and disorder incidents at London Premiership football clubs and an evaluation of the football banning order for the Scottish Government, ACC Andy Holt the lead on policing football in England and Director Bryan Drew who heads up the UK Football Policing Unit commissioned Justin Kurland, Shane D Johnson and Nick Tilley to analyse spatial and temporal patterns of crime around numerous football grounds throughout England.

This work involved match day visits to football grounds across England as well as the direct quantitative analysis of geo-coded police data for a period of no less than five full seasons (2005-2010).  This research project represents a unique shift in crime related to football in that the researchers are not focused on the motivations of either the offenders or the behaviour or perceptions of the police, but instead the work focuses exclusively on the spatial and temporal impact of match days on crime and disorder around football grounds.

Research outputs

Poster at the International Crime and Intelligence Analysis Conference 2011: The spatio-temporal signature of crime and disorder around football grounds: a tale of Villa and Wolves

Report for the Government Office for London (GOL): Temporal variation of alcohol related anti-social behaviour and crime at Premier League football matches in London

Report for the Scottish Government: An Evaluation of Football Banning Orders in Scotland

Report for the Association of Chief Policer Officers (ACPO): 'Footprint' project research brief

Since the 1960s, there has been an on-going struggle between police forces throughout England and football clubs over payment for the policing of football matches. Football clubs have an interest in economising and have, accordingly, wanted to minimise their contributions. In several instances they have refused payment or initiated litigation. There have been various rounds of the on-going dispute. Most recently the debate has centred on the locations outside of the ground for whose policing the clubs should be held financially responsible. The aim of this research was to examine how much crime occurs at locations near to football grounds, and how this differs on days that matches take place and on similar days that they do not.

Further information on a more detailed research brief associated with this project will be available shortly.

Page last modified on 03 feb 12 14:09