UK Government

Home Office: Violence down at football grounds

Press Release   •   Dec 22, 2009 15:49 GMT

Football-related arrests for violence dropped last season, Home Office Minister David Hanson announced today.

The number of fans arrested overall also fell last year, with no arrests at 67 per cent of all international and domestic matches.

'Statistics on Football-Related Arrests and Banning Orders Season 2008-09', published today, revealed there were 3,752 arrests last season – down two per cent on the year before.

They also showed violent incidents were down five per cent, with just 354 fans arrested for violence out of the total attendance figure of 37 million at football matches last year.

Policing Minister David Hanson MP said:

"Hooligans once blighted our national game, but we now set an example for the rest of the world in how we police football matches.

"I am pleased with the way clubs and police work together, but we must also praise fans for realising violence has no place in the modern game.

"We are not complacent and will carry on working to ensure this success story continues into the future."

The new figures mean just 0.01 per cent of 37 million supporters attending matches in England and Wales last year were arrested. Fans were also well-behaved abroad – more than 105,000 fans travelled to 49 games in European club competitions last year, but just 30 were arrested.

The latest statistics revealed during the 2008/09 season:

* 3,752 arrests were made at domestic and international matches in England and Wales;
* there were 1.18 arrests per game;
* the number of football banning orders on 10 November was 3,180 – representing 956 new orders imposed last year;
* 92 per cent of individuals whose banning orders have expired are assessed by police as no longer posing a risk to football disorder.

250/2009

Notes to editors:

1.  Statistics, including a full break-down by club, on ‘Football-Related Arrests and Banning Orders for Season 2008/09’ can be found online at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/crime-victims/reducing-crime/football-disorder/
2.  Football banning orders were introduced to prevent known football hooligans from causing further trouble at home and abroad. Bans last between three and ten years, and the precise conditions can be tailored on a case-by-case basis.
If necessary, the courts can ban recipients from using public transport on match days, and from visiting other potential ‘hotspots’, such as town centres, pubs and bars during risk periods.
3. For further information, contact the Home Office Press Office newsdesk on 020 7035 3535.

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