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Football-related arrests remain at historic low

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and Supporters Direct merged to become the FSA in 2019 – so this page may contain hyperlinks that do not work and/or have missing files. Our archived pages are not maintained and will not be updated.

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Football-related arrests remain at historic low levels with Home Office statistics released today showing an increase of 22 arrests (a 1% rise) from the previous 12 months.

The arrest statistics, covering the period from July 2015 to July 2016, show that 1,895 football related arrests were made – a 20% decrease since the 2011-12 season.

Although arrests were up marginally, the number of active football banning orders (2,085) fell by 4%. However, 542 new football banning orders were issued this year – a 12% increase on the previous season.

Arrests at football remain incredibly rare, with only 4.8 arrests per 100,000 spectators. The Home Office say the three most common offence types were public disorder (31%), alcohol offences (20%) and violent disorder (19%).

FSF caseworker Amanda Jacks said: “It’s good to football arrests follow a downward trend over recent years and pleasing to see them remain at historically low levels.

“Football fans’ behaviour is improving, the policing is getting better and we’re seeing fans becoming more involved in match-day planning – all have these factors have ensured that disorder at football matches is very rare.

Football related arrests are dwarfed by other large-scale public events, at T-In-The-Park festival in Scotland attended by 70,000 revellers this summer there were 54 arrests. This is around one arrest per 1,300 festival-goers, but at football it’s one arrest for every 20,000.

“It’s important to understand that football fans face arrest for actions or behaviour that don’t exist as offences in any other walk of life,” Amanda said. “Again, this demonstrates how misleading some headlines about hooliganism can be and how safe football is.”

What the Home Office statistics don’t reveal is how many of these arrests at football matches lead to convictions, something Amanda would like to see changed.

“The statistics don’t tell us how many of these arrests led to convictions, cautions or other actions such as fixed penalty notices. It would be very helpful for supporters too see the figures broken down in that way.”

Thanks to WMP for the image used in this article. Reproduced here under Creative Commons license.

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