‘No other local derby brings two teams with such high rates of supporter arrests together’

Positive Decrease

The Home Office recently published the annual football-related arrests and banning order statistics for England and Wales and there was some positive signs in terms of football fan behaviour, although one thing remained the same.

There was total of 1,542 football-related arrests, a 6% decrease of 96 on the previous season (which saw a 14% drop from the season before that).

Overall there was just 3.5 football-related arrests per 100,000 attendees (compared to last year’s 4.1) of football matches in England.

League Two had the highest arrest rate of 8.6 per 100,000 attendees, while the Championship registered 4.7 per 100,000, over twice that of the Premier League, that came in at 2.0 per 100,000.

Of these, arrests the three most common offence types were public disorder (36%), violent disorder (20%) and pitch incursion (12%).

Public disorder and violent disorder have ranked within the top 3 offence types in each of the last eight seasons, this is the first time that pitch incursion has appeared within the top 3. Conversely, arrests for alcohol offences has now dropped out of the top 3 following a 38% fall (from 266 to 164) in the latest season.

Bad Blues

In terms of the which club’s supporters got into the most trouble in the 2017-18 season, more Birmingham City fans were arrested than at any other club in England’s top five leagues for a third consecutive season.

Blues fans chalked up 95 arrests which was an increase on their 72 recorded in the Championship last season. The main issue seemed to be on their home patch of St Andrew’s where 72% of the arrests were made.

Last season, Aston Villa fans came in at fourth in terms of most arrests in English football, but this time round their 48 arrests were lower than the last two seasons ( 52 arrests last season and 49 the previous season to that).

Despite the slight decrease, Villa are still 5th in English football in terms of the most arrests.

Interestingly enough, while Birmingham City’s problems tend to come at home, Villa fans only had 33% of their arrests at Villa Park.

With the upcoming Villa vs Blues derby on the horizon, there’s no wonder the fixture calls for extra police planning when you consider no other local derby brings two teams with such high rates of supporter arrests together.

Arrest Top 5

  1. Birmingham City – 95
  2. Sheffield United – 62
  3. Sunderland – 60
  4. Portsmouth – 59
  5. Aston Villa – 48

Source: Home Office, Football-related arrests and banning order statistics, England and Wales, 2017- 18 season.

‘More Birmingham City fans were arrested than at any other club in England’s top five leagues for a third consecutive season.’

Banning Order Movement

One of the worst outcomes for an arrested football supporter is getting a banning order. Banning orders normally last a minimum of three years and carry severe restrictions on match days.

In line with the decrease recorded in arrests, there was also a drop in the issue of banning orders. As at 1 August 2018, there were 1,822 football banning orders in force representing a decrease of 6% from 1,929 (7 August 2017). This continues the downward trend seen in the number of football banning orders in force in the last seven seasons, falling by 43% from 3,174 on 29 November 2011.

Newcastle fans still have the highest number of football bans currently running, but the figure dropped from 111 of the 2016-17 season to 79 recorded last season.

In the West Midlands, despite Villa and Blues fans being in the top 5 of arrested fans, it is Wolves  supporters that actually come in second overall in terms of the most currently active banning orders. Repeating their position of last year’s statistics. They had 64 running bans last season, which was a drop on the previous season’s 75.

Birmingham City have bucked the national trend and have seen an increase in banning orders though, moving up from 9th position with 41 in the 2016-17 season to joint fifth in 2017-18 with 52.

Villa fans have also seen an overall increase with 34 Villa fans currently serving bans (as of August 1st 2018). That’s three up on the last Home Office records, putting them in 16th place in terms of the rest of English football (12 of those bans were newly enforced last season).

MOMS will be attending the latest West Midlands Football Police Independent Advisory Group (IAG) this evening, so if you have any issues you want putting to the police, do let me know.

UTV

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