Met police say using the term 'Yid' at White Hart Lane no longer an arrestable offence

Met police say using the term 'Yid' at White Hart Lane no longer an arrestable offence

Met police say using the term 'Yid' at White Hart Lane no longer an arrestable offence

First published in News
Last updated
by , Reporter

The Metropolitan Police have said that using the word ‘Yid’ at White Hart Lane is no longer an arrestable offence.

The police were asked for their position on the controversial term by Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust (THST) in a police and safety forum meeting last Monday.

However, Constable Steve Payne, Football Intelligence Officer for the Met, said fans could still be arrested for using the word if a complaint was made against them.

He added that there was a difference between anti-semitic holocaust songs directed at Spurs fans, which he said was an offence, and Spurs fans singing the Y-word, which was not.

THST have previously issues a statement defending the use of the word after the Football Association (FA) said it was “inappropriate in a football setting”.

Spurs fans have said they never use the word ‘Yid’ in a malicious way, despite its offensive connotations to Jewish people.

The FA warned that Spurs supporters, who refer to themselves the ‘Yid Army’, could face criminal charges if they use the term.

The board of the supporters trust said in a statement fans mean no offence to members of the Jewish community when they use the term.

The trust said it is “categorically against ejections and banning orders for the use of the term by Tottenham Hotspur supporters in a match environment”.

On March 7 the Crown Prosecution Service discontinued cases made against three Spurs fans arrested for using the word.

THST said that the arrest and charge of those fans was “unnecessary and unwarranted”, adding that it raised issues surrounding “the right to free speech” and “did not take account of the context in which the wording was used”.

The trust added that the police’s approach was “misguided and over-zealous”.

It said: “We do not in any way condone racist language being used by football fans and we are aware of the recent media reporting of racist abuse being used towards opposition fans during matches.

“However this was never one of those cases. The word ‘Yid’ simply means ‘Jew’. It was and is still used as a term of endearment by many Jewish people. 

"Its use in a derogatory way was started by racists in Nazi Germany. This deplorable action should not have the power to forever change its meaning into an abusive term.

“The word ‘Yid’ was adopted over 30 years ago by Spurs fans to combat racist abuse aimed towards them at football by opposing fans.

“It developed into a strong identity status that brought Jewish and non-Jewish Spurs fans together in an incredible show of unity that is admired worldwide. That is what fighting racism within football should be about.”

Last season eight arrests were made for racially aggravated offences at White Hart Lane.

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