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.
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 figures show Bradford City topping the League 1 list for the number of Football Banning Orders at 62, but this includes only 3 orders that have been issued in the past year.
The club feels that this demonstrates the excellent work carried out in past years to remove an unruly element from its following.
Further great work has done by the Police in that 6 of the Club’s arrests over the last season were for breaches of the conditions of Football Banning Orders. In total, there were 21 arrests of followers of Bradford City with only 9 of those happening in or around the Coral Windows Stadium.
In considering the figures, the additional games the club played in 2012/13 in the play-offs and the Capital One Cup run to a Wembley final have to be kept in mind.
However, the club is not complacent and a spokesperson said today, “Given our extra games, the figures for last season are very encouraging; however the success and return to League 1 has seen a difficult element return to Bradford City games that we have not seen for some time. We will continue to work closely with the West Yorkshire Police and other agencies to ensure that the behaviour continues to improve and the statistics reflect the inroads we are making towards making Bradford City games the safe place to be”.