The number of hate crime incidents at football matches in England and Wales rose 47% last year with 79% of complaints race-related while the clubs whose fans get arrested the most have also been revealed.

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(Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

The number of race-related hate crimes rose from 131 matches to 193 although arrests actually fell 10%, something the Football Supporters’ Federation is hailing as indicative of something positive, although I’m not sure what.

Although the increase in reports is likely down to people feeling more able to come forward, a drop in arrests is no reason to celebrate.

That points to the police doing less, not more as is required, and even they, along with Kick It Out – the anti-racism campaigners, expressed concern at the Home Office numbers.

As of August 1 2019, 1,771 banning orders were in force, a 3% drop compared with the previous year. Banning orders have steadily declined since 2011.

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There were 1,381 football-related arrests under Schedule 1 of the Football Spectators Act 1989, that drop of 10% mentioned above.

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Clubs with highest number of arrests:

  • Stoke City (80)
  • Leeds United (49)
  • Aston Villa (42)
  • Sheffield United (41)
  • Manchester City (39)
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There were an additional 155 arrests (28% increase) made by the British Transport Police plus 347 non-Schedule 1 arrests.

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The  Home Office report added, “The football-related arrest rate in the 2018/19 season was 3.3 arrests per 100,000 attendees. Of all competitions with 30 arrests or more, the Football League Trophy had the highest arrest rate of 22.6 per 100,000 attendees (Stoke City had 62 of the 70 arrests in this competition); whilst European club competitions had the lowest arrest rate of 1.9 arrests per 100,000 attendees.”

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.