Date: 28th November 2016 at 1:37am
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The Home Office have now released the figures for last season when it comes to arrests at grounds and football banning orders – and it’s largely good news.

Whilst arrest figures grew by 1% on 2014/15 – in reality that was 22 more arrests than the previous 12 months and arrest figures remain at a historic low – and with 1,895 arrests last campaign, it remains a 20% decrease in incidents since the 2011/12 season.

The number of active banning orders at grounds – 2,085 – also fell by 4% overall, although new banning orders last season did show a 12% increase with 542 orders issued last term.

The Home Office statistics show that the three most common offence types were public disorder at 31%, alcohol offences at 20% and violent disorder at 19% – but even then when you crunch the figures arrests remain rare at football stadium’s around the country with only 4.8 arrests per 100,000 attending supports.

Divisionally, the Championship sees 25% of arrests attributed to that level, whilst the Premier League takes 30% of banning orders and the rest spread across the footballing pyramid obviously.

With a general decrease in offence types reported largely over the last four years, this season saw a continued rise in pyrotechnic related arrests, up to 141 incidents for 2015/16 from 32 incidents back in 2011.

Football Supporters’ Federation’s caseworker Amanda Jacks said of the most recent figures.

‘It’s good to football arrests follow a downward trend over recent years and pleasing to see them remain at historically low levels. Football fans’ behaviour is improving, the policing is getting better and we’re seeing fans becoming more involved in match-day planning – all have these factors have ensured that disorder at football matches is very rare. Football related arrests are dwarfed by other large-scale public events, at T-In-The-Park festival in Scotland attended by 70,000 revellers this summer there were 54 arrests. This is around one arrest per 1,300 festival-goers, but at football it’s one arrest for every 20,000.’

She added.

‘It’s important to understand that football fans face arrest for actions or behaviour that don’t exist as offences in any other walk of life. Again, this demonstrates how misleading some headlines about hooliganism can be and how safe football is.’

And to clarify, she added that arrest figures aren’t necessarily a guidance as to how many convictions came on the back of them, and it’s a further change in reporting that the FSF would like to see in the future – and it must be said generic criminal offences these statistics cover also include offences ‘in connection’ with a game which fall within a period of 24 hours either side of the match itself – so aren’t necessarily in stadium by nature either.

‘The statistics don’t tell us how many of these arrests led to convictions, cautions or other actions such as fixed penalty notices. It would be very helpful for supporters too see the figures broken down in that way.’

For anybody interested in reading the whole report, that can be found on gov.uk by Clicking Here.

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