Government statistics released within the last week show that football related arrests have once again fallen for the season of 2016/17.
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Across the season of 2016/17 there were 1,638 football related arrests which represent a 14% decrease compared to the campaign of 2015/16 – a drop of 257 arrests, leaving the average as four arrests per 100,000 match going supporters across England and Wales.
The Home Office statistics show however that in the last seven seasons, related arrests have now fallen by almost 50% – down from 3,089 to the number of 1,638 (47%).
FSF caseworker Amanda Jacks commented.
‘It’s very pleasing to see arrests remaining at historically low levels. Any match-going fan will know that the overwhelming majority of football supporters are well behaved and that match days largely pass without incident – these figures reflect that. Over the last seven seasons we’ve seen significant improvements to football policing, supporter behaviour and fans’ involvement in match-day planning. These have all contributed to a better match-day experience.’
The three most common types of arrests across 2016/17 were for public disorder (31%), violent disorder (21%) and alcohol offences (16%). The Championship contributed most to the arrest total with 28% (455).
Football related arrests are now comparing more favourably to other large scale public events, V-Festival saw 42 arrests from a 90,000 crowd with even Chester Races’ May festival reporting 14 arrests from a crowd of 60,000.
‘This demonstrates how safe football is and how misleading media coverage around disorder at the football can be. It’s important to understand that the legislation around football is the most restrictive of any major past time in this county. Football fans face arrest for actions or behaviour that simply don’t exist as offences at any other event such as drinking alcohol in sight of the field of play.’
Banning orders also fell last year with the active number of those falling by 7% and new orders issued falling by 5% compared to the previous season.
This too is a downward curve over the last six seasons, dropping 39% from 3,174 back in November 2011. Again the Championship leads here with 32% (620) with the Premier League coming in at 26% (507) of the overall total.
— Vital Lincoln City (@VitalLincoln) December 1, 2017