A Qualitative Examination of Police Officers' Perception of Football Supporters

Jonas Havelund, Lise Joern, Kristian Rasmussen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPolice Practice and Research: An International Journal
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)65-78
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2. Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

Published online: 02 Jan 2014


  • Denmark
  • categorisation
  • dialogue
  • football
  • perception
  • police


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