Football Arrest Figures Fall

Arrests for football related offences have fallen by 10%, according to figures released by the Home Office.

The statistics covering Season 2003/04 show that out of a total aggregate attendance of more than 36 million at football games in this country, only
3,982 arrests were made ­ an arrest rate of 0.01%.

Across all Football League competitions 2,257 arrests were made out of a total attendance of almost 18 million ­ meaning that the vast majority of matches remain trouble-free.  In last season¹s Division One 72% of games recorded one arrest or less, while in Divisions Two and Three the figures were 82% and 89% respectively.

Macclesfield Town and Kidderminster Harriers fans proved themselves the best behaved in the country with no arrests, while another 23 League clubs recorded 10 arrests or less.

Football League Chairman Sir Brian Mawhinney commented: "These figures demonstrate that Football League matches are something families can attend together in safety and comfort.

"One arrest for every 10,000 spectators attending games is still one arrest too many, but nevertheless is an improvement on previous seasons.

"League clubs and their local police will continue to work together to prevent the actions of a tiny minority damaging our sport."

David Swift, Deputy Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police and Association of Chief Police Officers spokesman on footballing issues,
said: "Whilst I am pleased with the statistics released today we should not assume violence and disorder has gone away. There has not been a massive reformation of trouble makers, rather rigorous controls and investigations by the police are having a positive effect.
"The last 12 months has seen a concerted effort by the police service to control behaviour at and around football games and to ban the maximum number of hooligans from attending future events. More than 1,200 new bans with most matches now trouble free, shows the tactics are working and they will be continued throughout this season and beyond."


Statistical Highlights

ß Arrests for football related offences down by 10%, to 3,982 from 4,413

ß Level of arrests reflects the lingering domestic football disorder problems
ß Substantial increase in the number of football banning orders, up to 2,596 on 18 October 2004, from 1,794 on 14 August 2003

ß Targeted police operations resulted in hundreds of high quality football banning orders. 1,263 new bans were made between 15 August 2003 and 18 October 2004
ß Arrest levels remain low ­ the highest league attendances for 34 years, 29,197,510 produced 3,010 arrests - an arrest rate of 0.01%

ß Vast majority of matches remain trouble-free ­ 50% of Premiership, 72% of 1st Division, 82% of 2nd Division and 89% of 3rd Division matches had one arrest or less.  Overall, during the 2003­2004 season there was an average of 1.62 arrests per game

ß 69% increase in the number of arrests for domestic breach of football banning order (from 37 to 63) reflecting an increased crackdown on individuals acting in breach of the terms of their order. No arrests, or evidence of anyone subject to a banning order attempting to travel overseas

ß 57% of the total arrests were made outside of grounds, 85% of arrests for violent disorder outside of grounds

ß 25% of matches completely police free

ß Arrests of England fans decreased from 261 to 70 ­ reflecting a highly successful Euro 2004 tournament

ß Statistics for football-related arrests tell only part of the story and need to be placed in context.  Some incidents, especially public disorder outside of grounds, may result in few arrests whereas, in other cases, a large number of arrests may be indicative of preventative police action.