West Ham top table of most fan arrests ahead of Man Utd as numbers rise greatly


WEST HAM had the most fan arrests in the Premier League last season.

The latest Home Office figures reported 2,198 arrests at games last term, the most since the 2013-14 campaign.

That included 441 arrests for pitch invasions, up 127 per cent, with 561 people charged for throwing missiles and 729 for possession of pyrotechnics.

Of those, 95 were West Ham fans, with many alleged to have committed public disorder offences.

The next highest offenders were Manchester City with 76 arrests, followed by rivals Manchester United with 72.

Leicester City and Chelsea round of the top five with 59 and 58 fan arrests respectively.The rise in incidents was a major factor in the Premier League’s unanimous agreement that all clubs would impose minimum 12-month bans for fan misbehaviour issues.

Police recorded 1,609 matches in which at least one arrest was made, meaning action was required at more than half of games played – 602 games more than in 2018-19, the last season of full crowds before the pandemic.

And courts issued 516 new banning orders, making the total across England and Wales now 1,308.

Cheshire Chief Constable Mark Roberts, the country’s head of Football Policing, said: “The release of these statistics underlines that the rise in disorder we saw at the mid-season point of 2021/22 has continued.

“It cannot just be put down to fans returning to stadiums after lockdown.

“Disorder is a problem that has not gone away, and throughout the whole of last season we saw an increase in crime at football matches across the country – from the Premier League right down to the National League.”

Ch Con Roberts added that pitch invaders and fans carrying pyrotechnics would face prosecution as well as the club bans.

He said: “The statistics released show a worrying rise in these crimes, which are both extremely dangerous for players, staff and fellow fans alike.

“We know that drug use, along with alcohol, is one the key factors which leads to disorderly behaviour, and we are pleased that the government is adding Class A drugs offences to the banning order legislation.

“This will provide police with another option to tackle criminal and anti-social behaviour by those who are under the influence of drugs.

“Anyone who commits a criminal offence either outside or inside a football ground can expect to face the consequences of their actions.“We collectively need to make football a safe environment for the overwhelming majority of supporters who just want to enjoy the game.

“At the same time forces have a wide range of diversionary activities to tackle the increasing number of young fans engaging in inappropriate behaviour and we will only achieve our collective aim by everyone working together and putting those fans who are genuine supporters of their clubs first.”


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