Football hooligan arrests fall

FEWER Ipswich Town and Colchester United fans have been arrested for hooliganism in the past 12 months compared to last year, new figures reveal.Data published by the Home Office shows only 15 Town fans were arrested for football related offences in 2004-05 compared to 23 in 2003-04.

By Danielle Nuttall

FEWER Ipswich Town and Colchester United fans have been arrested for hooliganism in the past 12 months compared to last year, new figures reveal.

Data published by the Home Office shows only 15 Town fans were arrested for football related offences in 2004-05 compared to 23 in 2003-04.

The number of Colchester United fans arrested this year also fell from 17 in 2003-04 to 13 in 2004-05.


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In both cases, the greatest number of arrests was at away matches and both saw just two banning orders each issued to unruly fans between October 2004 and last month.

Nationally, football banning orders have been issued to a record number of hooligans, with the total rising by more than a fifth last year.

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A total of 3,153 yobs were under the bans, which stop them attending domestic and international matches.

More than 1,000 were issued in the year, making a net total rise of 557 after allowing for hooligans whose orders came to an end.

The figures also showed arrests for football-related offences dipped 11% to 3,628 in 2004/05, including the lowest number of league match arrests since records began.

Ministers said the figures showed tactics used by the police and the Government to tackle football hooliganism were working successfully.

Cardiff City, a club burdened with a fearsome reputation, remained the team with the highest number of banning orders, at 152, but only gained 19 extra during the year.

In comparison, Tranmere Rovers' banning order tally increased eight-fold from just five to 41.

Leeds United gained the highest number of orders in the year, 58, to reach a total of 128, the second highest number across all leagues.

Mr Goggins said: “These statistics are extremely encouraging.

“With an 11% decrease in the number of football-related arrests and an average of just 1.21 arrests per game, it is clear that the tough legislation to stamp out football hooliganism, together with targeted policing and enforcement, is continuing to be effective.

“I am particularly pleased to see that only six arrests were made at overseas England and Wales international matches, building on the generally excellent behaviour of fans attending Euro 2004.

“This is reassuring, particularly in the run-up to next year's World Cup.”

He added: “We are committed to continue working hard to tackle football hooliganism, both domestically and internationally, wherever English and Welsh teams are playing.

“However, we are not complacent. Football hooliganism is still a lingering menace, albeit among a small minority of supporters, and we will not tolerate it.”

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