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Football: Arrests

Question for Home Office

UIN HL6282, tabled on 21 February 2022

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of any trends in the number of arrests made among football supporters attending matches in England.

Answered on

7 March 2022

We are clear that law abiding fans should be able to enjoy football matches in safety and that any violent or disorderly behaviour at matches will not be tolerated.

In the 2020 to 2021 football season, there were 116 football-related arrests under Schedule 1 of the Football Spectators Act 1989 (as amended). Of these, the most common offence types were violent disorder (36%) and public disorder (34%). Arrests in the latest season are around 8% of the 2018 to 2019 football season (pre-Covid) level and will have been impacted by the fact that the vast majority of matches (93 %) were played without spectators.

In addition, there were 24 football-related arrests by British Transport Police and 29 other (non-Schedule 1) arrests at football matches in the 2020 to 2021 football season.

The trend in football-related arrests continues to fall and the number of football-related arrests have reduced steadily since 2000 and by 50% since 2010/11 season.

Arrest is just one of the powers the police have to deal with those intent on causing trouble. Preventative football banning orders, targeted and proportionate public order policing, stadium ejections, modern in-stadia security, and changes in supporter attitudes have all helped to marginalise the worst risk supporters.

Answered by

Home Office