Several studies stress the importance of thorough knowledge of supporter culture in order to assess the actual level of risk at football matches thereby ensuring a balanced approach by the police in order to avoid conflict situations. This study examines how Danish police officers perceive and categorise football supporters on the basis of a field-based observational study and a qualitative interview study undertaken at the East Jutland Police department in Denmark in the period 2008–2009. The main findings show a general lack of knowledge of supporter culture as well as scepticism towards engaging in dialogue with football supporters. As a consequence of these findings, the East Jutland Police department initiated an educational programme on dialogue policing in 2010. The programme has been successfully evaluated and is now implemented on a national basis.
Police Practice and Research, 2015, Vol 16, Issue 1, p. 65-78