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Hunting The Hooligans


How a Covert Police Team Brought Down One of Britain’s Most Violent Gangs

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In the notorious 1980s, football violence was rife. The yobs were rampant, crowds were falling and the Government was near despair. One of the worst gangs was identified as a multi-racial crew of thugs and thieves who followed Birmingham City FC. They looted shops, ransacked pubs and butchered rivals. They called themselves the Zulu Warriors.

In 1987, after a bloody assault on one of their own, West Midlands Police set up a secret unit to infiltrate the Zulus and bring them down. Michael Layton, an ambitious and determined detective, assembled a small team in a secret location and set out to gather evidence on scores of targets. Operation Red Card was born.

It was fraught with danger. A key informant played a deadly game to pass on vital intelligence about the gang. Undercover officers faced the constant threat of exposure and reprisal, on one occasion being locked in a pub and interrogated by a hostile crowd. Others faced arrest by unwitting colleagues when caught up in brawls while posing as would-be hooligans.

The climax came with co-ordinated dawn raids to round up the ringleaders and their footsoldiers. But similar mass trials had collapsed in court amid claims of improper evidence-gathering. Would the case stand up? Hunting The Hooligans is the first ever inside account of an anti-hooligan operation by the man who ran it, and of the brave cops who pushed it to the limit.

Click here to buy on Amazon.co.uk

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