Football-related policing 'a real British success story' as arrests for disorder at games hit all-time low

Despite these encouraging figures, fans have been urged to remain especially respectful at the European Championships next summer where the focus will again be on hooliganism
The Home Office has reported that football-related disorder arrests in England and Wales have fallen by nine per cent last year, setting a record low.

The figures cover domestic and international football and have been termed a major success for the British game, particularly given the poor reputation British supporters carried when records began in 1984/85.

Crime Prevention Minister Lord Henley said: "Football policing is a real British success story. Where hooliganism was once described as 'the English disease', we now set an example for others to follow.

"But we are not complacent and we will expect to see England fans continue their good behaviour at next year's European Championships, where the eyes of the world will be on them once again."

Last year 3,089 people were arrested at football matches, a drop of 302 compared to the 2009/10 season and the lowest figure since records began.

There were no arrests in 70% of all games while in international football, just one English fan was arrested at the World Cup, following a confrontation with the national team.

Assistant Chief Constable Andy Holt, who leads football policing for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: "Over the past two decades the UK has made steady progress in reducing football-related violence and disorder.

"The service has worked hard with football clubs and football supporters' associations to ensure that genuine fans can attend games without incident and it's reassuring that the figures reflect that a very small minority of fans have come to police notice."

Football banning orders were introduced a decade ago and the Home Office has reiterated their importance, stating they “continue to have a positive effect”.

Over 90% of supporters whose banning orders have expired are no longer deemed a risk by police of re-offending at football matches.

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