Police arrests and public disorder at English grounds rose 60% in 2021-22 season

September 23 – Arrests and reported incidents of disorder at matches across England and Wales last season were at their highest level for eight years.

Football-related arrests were up by 59% to 2,198 – the highest number of arrests since 2,273 were made in the 2013-14 season

Reported incidents of disorder at matches in England and Wales were up by 60% compared to the last full season before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The sobering data has been released by the British Home Office.

There were 441 matches where pitch invasions were reported last season – up by a staggering 127% on the 2018-19 campaign – and 384 matches where a hate crime incident was reported, an increase of 99%.

West Ham had the highest number of arrests for a single club – 95 across the season – followed by Manchester City (76), Manchester United (72), Leicester (59) and Everton (58).

On Wednesday the Premier League announced the introduction of a minimum one-year ban from home and away matches for any fan guilty of entering the pitch or carrying or using pyrotechnics.

In a statement football policing authorities commented:  “The statistics show a worrying rise in these crimes, which are both extremely dangerous for players, staff and fellow fans alike.”

Football Policing Lead chief constable Mark Roberts told the BBC unless action is taken with some of the younger fans involved in disorder “we will have a problem with them for the next 20 years”.

Tottenham’s international defender Eric Dier recently said he feels “too uncomfortable” for his family to attend away matches. “[Fan behaviour] has definitely got worse,” Dier said.

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