New figures show Everton matches amongst worst for arrests and banning orders
Football-related arrests in England and Wales reached an eight-year high last season.
Football-related arrests reached an eight-year high of 2,198 in the 2021/22 season across England and Wales, up 59% compared with the last pre-covid season of 2018/19.
The new figures published by the Home Office show nearly two-thirds (64%; 1,404) of the arrests occurred inside the ground.
Everton matches were amongst those with the highest numbers of arrests, ranking fifth across England and Wales, with 58.
The figures also show Everton supporters were issued with the third highest number of new football banning orders for the 2021/22 season, at 26, with some high-profile cases hitting the headlines.
Toffees fan Shane Bennett, 18, of Grasmere Street, was banned from going to football matches for three years after punching two police officers during Everton’s 1-0 Premier League win against Newcastle United in March.
Another supporter, Roger Tweedle, 19, was given a four year football banning order and a suspended prison sentence after throwing a plastic bottle at Aston Villa players during a 1-0 loss at Goodison Park in January.
What are football-related arrests?
The figures include arrests at all regulated international and domestic football matches involving English and Welsh clubs and the national teams, playing in the UK and overseas.
Football related offences include violent disorder, public disorder, throwing missiles, racist and indecent chanting, pitch incursion, alcohol and drug offenses, ticket touting, possession of an offensive weapon, possession of pyrotechnics, breach of banning order and criminal damages.
The top ten highest arrests:
Six supporters were arrested for racist and indecent chanting at Everton matches.
Twenty four of the arrests at Everton matches related to public disorder and 10 related to violent disorder. The most common offences was pitch incursion and possession of pyrotechnics, with 26 arrests relating to these offences.
The figures also show there were 1,308 people with Football Banning Orders (FBOs) at the end of the 2021/22 season, including 516 new orders issued, preventing individuals from attending games, including the World Cup in Qatar.
Twenty six Everton supporters were issued new banning orders, placing them at number three for this metric.
When looking at all football banning orders in force (including those issued in previous seasons), Birmingham City supporters had the highest number of football banning orders in force (57), followed by Millwall supporters (52), and in third place were Bolton Wanderers supporters (46).
In the 2020/21 season, only one new banning order was issued to Everton supporters, and six the year prior. The last time Everton banning orders were in the double figures was 2016/17 with 17.
What has been said?
NPCC Lead for Football Policing, Chief Constable Mark Roberts said: “Disorder is a problem that has not gone away, and throughout the whole of last season we saw an increase in crime at football matches across the country - from the Premier League right down to the National League.
“Following constructive talks with the Premier League, EFL and FA we are keen to support our partners in delivering their proposals – which include the introduction of stadium bans for people who enter the pitch, as well as those who use pyrotechnics.
“We are also pleased that the Government is adding Class A drugs offences to the banning order legislation. This will provide police with another option to tackle criminal and anti-social behaviour by those who are under the influence of drugs.
“Anyone who commits a criminal offence either outside or inside a football ground can expect to face the consequences of their actions. The increase in arrests demonstrates that the police are taking positive action, working closely with the CPS. We collectively need to make football a safe environment for the overwhelming majority of supporters who just want to enjoy the game.”
Everton’s zero-tolerence approach
Everton have always maintained a zero tolerence to anti-social behaviour and urged anyone witnessing any form of harassment or discrimination to report it to a club steward or a police officer.
Supporters can also report any incidents to the Stadium Safety Team immediately by texting HELP and details of what has been witnessed and where to 84300, or by email to [email protected].