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Thursday, 8 August, 2002, 12:10 GMT 13:10 UK
Police ban more football 'thugs'
English and Tunisian fans fight in Marseilles in 1998 World Cup
The number of alleged 'hard core' hooligans has grown
The number of alleged football hooligans banned from attending matches has shot up over the last 12 months.

Latest figures revealed by the Home Office show that the number of fans barred from games rose from 687 last year to almost 1,150.

Most arrests (home and away) by club
Stoke City: 143
Sunderland: 129
Manchester City: 106
Tottenham: 105
Millwall and Newcastle: both 103
Cardiff City: 100
All figures for league games only
The figures showed the overall arrests for all football-related violence fell by six per cent over the same period. But arrests rose in the first and second divisions.

Arrests for all football violence fell during the last football season, from 4,162 in August 2001 to 3,898 in May 2002.

Home Office Minister John Denham said the fall in arrests was good news but he said there was "no room for complacency".

He said: "The World Cup showed that football fans can be passionate and committed without wanting to be associated with violence or disorder."

There were only 13 arrests - only one of which was for a public order offence - among the 8,000 England fans who travelled to Japan.

'Hard-core'

Mr Denham welcomed the increased use of banning orders by police and said they would continue to be the main tool used to control hooliganism.

Assistant Chief Constable Ron Hogg, the Association of Chief Police Officers' spokesman on football matters, attributed the rise in arrests at first and second division to a number of "problem clubs" such as Millwall, Manchester City, Stoke and Cardiff.

A father and son being checked in South Korea
Security checks at the World Cup helped alleviate trouble
But he said that while banning orders, intelligence-gathering and effective policing were the best way of handling football hooliganism in the short term, in the long term there was a need to address the behaviour of fans at some clubs.

He said he was happy with the way clubs such as Millwall and Stoke were tackling the problem.

More suspected hooligans were banned in the weeks before the tournament in Japan and South Korea - which ultimately saw no serious trouble from fans.

Mr Hogg said the real "test" would come at the European Championships in Portugal in 2004.

Stopping would-be hooligans from travelling within Europe would be a much harder task, he said.

Under the Football (Disorder) Act courts can impose banning orders on individuals who have been involved in disorder, even if they have not been convicted of specific football offences.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Daniel Sandford
"Under pressure from police, problem clubs like Millwall need to have a better record this season"

Talking PointTALKING POINT
Crowd trouble
Can football hooligans be tamed?

In a three part undercover investigation shown on BBC Two, the BBC travels from Bermondsey to Buenos Aires to find the true face of football hooliganism today.
The BBC investigates

See also:

19 May 02 | Talking Point
10 May 02 | Hooligans
02 May 02 | Hooligans
17 May 02 | Cardiff City
15 Aug 01 | UK
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