Responsibility for the safety at a sports grounds lies at all times with ground management.

However, at certain sports grounds and for certain matches or events the presence of the police may be required to maintain public order and prevent the commission of offences.

Whether there is a police presence or not, responsibility for the enforcement of ground regulations remains with the stadium management. Police officers are not present to overcome inadequacies in safety management.

If there is to be a police presence in or at the sports ground, management should consult with police in advance and draw up a Statement of Intent. This should set out the division of responsibilities and functions and make clear who will assume responsibility in particular circumstances.

What does the legislation on sports ground safety say about policing?

Section 2 (2A) of the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 states that:

“No condition of a safety certificate shall require the provision of the services at the ground of any member of a police force unless the extent of the provision is reserved for the determination of the chief officer of police of the force.”

We have a list of historic Home Office circulars which also provide additional information on the requirements for policing.

Check the regulations

What is a Safety Certificate?

Details about what a safety certificate is.

Legislation related to policing

Information from legislation relating to policing in sports grounds.

Tools and resources

Police services court outcomes

Historic Circulars

Historic Home Office and DCMS Circulars affecting football and sports grounds.


Statement of Intent

Details in relation to the Statement of Intent