New figures have revealed that the general downward trend in football related arrests is continuing, although the Home Office warns of a “significant risk” that could change if efforts to tackle disorder are reduced.
The total number of arrests at professional football matches during the 2012/13 season was less than 0.01% of the 39 million people attending games. This equates to one arrest for every 14,000 people and less than one arrest per game (Championship: 1.13 arrests per game, League 1: 0.42 arrests per game and League 2: 0.29 arrests per game).
A total of 2,456 people were arrested at games played in The Football League, Premier League, Football Conference, domestic cup competitions, European competitions, international football and the Olympics. This represents an increase of 93 arrests on similar figures for 2011/12, which were the lowest on record. The number of football banning orders in operation has declined by 11% to 2,451.
The figures above include 11 Blackpool fans arrested on matchdays last season, while five banning orders were put in place against risk supporters.
Football League Chairman Greg Clarke said: “The domestic game is ever vigilant about the threat of serious crowd disorder at our matches and works closely with the relevant authorities to ensure that our grounds are a safe place to watch football. To this end, Football League clubs spend more than £6 million each season on policing matches and over £10m on their own security and stewarding operations.
“It is encouraging to see that there were no arrests at three quarters of the matches played in England and Wales. I believe it demonstrates that the game’s approach to crowd management is the right one and is improving all the time.”
The full Home Office report can be viewed here.