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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 October 2006, 05:22 GMT 06:22 UK
Record number of banning orders
Press Association
Police randomly checking football fans
Home Office figures show a record number of football banning orders have been imposed, up 7%.

The highest number of orders - 115 - was received by followers of Championship team Leeds United.

Of the 3,387 people prevented from attending domestic and international matches, 995 of the bans were imposed during this year.

But arrests for football-related offences dipped by 7% to 3,462 - for the third consecutive season.

They're only effective if they're actually enforced and I think that is an area of concern
Dr Mike Rowe from University of Leicester

Home Office minister Vernon Coaker said: "A 7% decrease in football-related arrests coupled with a 7% increase in football banning orders shows that tough legislation and targeted policing continues to be effective.

"However, we are not complacent. Football disorder remains a lingering menace, and will not be tolerated."

Portsmouth came second in the unenviable list with 110 banning orders, Cardiff City were third with 109, Stoke City was in fourth place with 108 and Manchester United, fifth, with 106.

Football club banning orders
Leeds United 115
Portsmouth 110
Cardiff City 109
Stoke City 108
Manchester United 106

Since the orders were introduced following Euro 2000, 5,173 individuals have been banned. Of those, 1,776 orders have now expired.

The Premiership overtook the Championship for the largest number of arrests in the year.

The club with the highest number of arrests was Tottenham Hotspur, with 169, Manchester United had 147, Chelsea, 126, Sheffield Wednesday, 89, Coventry City, 88 and Leeds United, 76.

Meanwhile, both Hull City and Luton Town had the highest number of fans arrested for violent disorder - both clubs had 21 hooligans detained.

Fourteen Birmingham City fans were arrested for the same offence in the year.

'Yob culture'

Thirteen people were also held for violent disorder at both Coventry City and Sheffield Wednesday.

Dr Mike Rowe, a senior lecturer in criminology at the University of Leicester, told BBC Radio Five Live: "They're only effective if they're actually enforced and I think that is an area of concern, I mean the more banning orders you have the more difficult it is to enforce them."

He said: "After all if you want to exclude 10 people from a football ground you can do that but if you want to exclude 1,000 then obviously it becomes more problematic."

Assistant Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police Stephen Thomas, said: "We now have to take steps to deal with the drunken yob culture that we saw spoiling our participation in the World Cup in Germany."

FA chief executive Brian Barwick said: "They [the latest figures] reflect the positive impact of banning orders and effective policing in reducing disorder at football matches, and the on-going culture change among the fans themselves."




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