Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Football-related arrests down 10%

Crime Prevention Minister James Brokenshire said nobody will become complacent over football-related disorder

The number of people arrested for football-related disorder fell by 10% last season.

A total of 3,391 English and Welsh fans were arrested at international and domestic games in 2009/10, down 395 from the previous season.

The figures were welcomed as Prime Minister David Cameron flies to Zurich to lobby Fifa executive committee members ahead of their all-important vote in the Swiss city.

The sport's global governing body will announce on Thursday who is to host the 2018 tournament, with England facing tough competition from Russia, as well as joint bids by Spain/Portugal and Belgium/Netherlands.

The figures showed there were no arrests at 70% of games and 92% of those whose football banning orders have expired since 2000 were assessed by police as no longer posing a risk of football disorder. No English or Welsh fans were arrested for disorder at the World Cup in South Africa, compared with almost 950 who were expelled from Belgium in one night during Euro 2000.

But Crime Prevention Minister James Brokenshire said nobody was complacent and said: "Police will continue to work with fans and use all the tools at their disposal to ensure that we continue setting a benchmark for the world."

In all, 3,248 football banning orders were in place on November 19, including 105 against Newcastle United fans - 10% of all the banning orders in the Premier League and the most of any team at that level - 91 against West Ham fans and 86 against Wolves fans.

In the Championship, Leeds United fans topped the list with 152 banning orders - the most of any club in England and Wales - followed by Cardiff City (125) and Millwall (100). Fans of Yeovil Town in League One and Accrington Stanley and Stevenage in League Two were the only groups with no banning orders, the figures showed.

Mr Cameron's decision to join the England bid team in Zurich has drawn comparisons with Tony Blair's sweet-talking of International Olympic Committee members in Singapore in 2005, which was widely credited with winning the 2012 Games for London.

He will be joined in Zurich by a 30-strong bid delegation including Prince William, London Mayor Boris Johnson, England manager Fabio Capello and football stars David Beckham, Sir Bobby Charlton, Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer, Andy Cole and John Barnes.

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