Page last updated at 10:05 GMT, Thursday, 18 October 2007 11:05 UK

Football hooligan arrests rise 8%

Police arrest a trouble-making football fan
Police seized more fans for throwing missiles

Arrests for football hooliganism have risen for the first time in four years, according to Home Office figures.

Almost 3,800 people were held last season - 300 (8%) more than in 2005/06. Public disorder and missile throwing was up, but violent disorder fell.

The Home Office said the rise was the result of a "tougher police approach to anti-social and disorderly behaviour".

The club with the most fans arrested was Manchester United (195), followed by Chelsea (135) and Sunderland (119).

Newcastle and Tottenham came next in the list, both with 117.

The figures show that total attendance at football matches involving English and Welsh clubs and international teams increased by 5% to more than 38.6 million last season.

The Home Office said the 3,788 arrests represent just 0.01% of spectators.

Banning orders

Among the overall figure, arrests for public disorder leapt by 25% to 1,700.

But the number of arrests for violent disorder fell to 337, the lowest ever figure, from 358 in 2005/06.

Tottenham had the most fans arrested for this offence (30), while Manchester United had the most held for public disorder (98).

Arrests for racist chanting dropped from 55 to 41, but those for throwing missiles rose from 68 to 97.

Great progress has been achieved in recent years which have helped us to achieve a 46% decrease in arrests for football violence in the last three seasons
Vernon Coaker
Home Office minister

The number of football banning orders imposed in 2006/07 was down by a third to 644.

There were 3,203 hooligans subjected to the orders on 9 August, down from 3,387 in 2005/06, all of whom were prevented from attending domestic and international matches.

The most banning orders were at Leeds United, after an extra 30 were handed out in the course of the season to take their total to 118.

Cardiff City had the second-most with 114, followed by Millwall (111) and Stoke City (102).

'Great progress'

Home Office minister Vernon Coaker said he was "pleased" to see fewer arrests for violent disorder.

"Great progress has been achieved in recent years which have helped us to achieve a 46% decrease in arrests for football violence in the last three seasons," he said.

Mr Coaker added that he was particularly encouraged by the effectiveness of football banning orders.

"Overall arrests represent 0.01% of all seats sold," he said.

"I am pleased that the police are targeting the kind of low-level anti-social behaviour that can spoil the football experience for fans."

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