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Football-related arrests lowest in a decade & Birmingham City top arrest list

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Football-related arrests in England and Wales have more than halved in the past decade, according to new figures.

Arrests have steadily fallen this century and were down 6% in 2017-18 compared with the previous season.

For the third consecutive year, more Birmingham City fans were arrested last season (95) than any other club in England's top five leagues.

The Championship had the most arrests (591), up 22% from 2016-17, while Premier League clubs had 374 arrests.

West Ham had the most arrests in the top division with 46, 13 of which were for pitch incursions, up from two in 2016-17. The club has repeatedly struggled with security issues since moving into the London Stadium.

The arrest rate for the whole season was 3.5 per 100,000 fans, while League Two had the highest arrest rate of 8.6 per 100,000.

Government data from the Home Office also showed an increase in arrests for:

  • Throwing missiles - 125 (2017-18), compared with 91 (2016-17)
  • Racist and indecent chanting - 15 (2017-18), up from seven (2016-17)
  • Public disorder - 549 (2017-18), up from 505 (2016-17)

The three most common offenses were public disorder (36%), violent disorder (20%) and pitch incursion (12%), while alcohol arrests dropped by 38%.

The number of banning orders in force - which stops a fan attending fixtures for a set period of time - dropped by 6% from 1,929 to 1,822.

There were 460 new orders issued last season, 11% down on the previous year.

Newcastle United had the highest number of banning orders for the fourth year in succession.

Decline in arrests generally, increase in Championship

Overall, there were 3,972 arrests in 2000-01 and 3,812 in 2007-08. That has now dropped to 1,542, its lowest level since the turn of the millennium.

"It's very pleasing to see football-related arrests falling again," said Football Supporters' Federation caseworker Amanda Jacks.

"Any match-going fan will know that the overwhelming majority of supporters are well behaved and that matchdays mostly pass without incident - these figures once again reflect that.

"Despite football supporters being subjected to the most draconian legislation of any other mainstream pastime in England and Wales, fan behaviour by-and-large is constantly getting better and we hope to see recent improvements in policing and planning continue become more widespread in the coming years."

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