Disorder at English football grounds is up by more than a third this season, according to new police figures.
Almost half of all matches have had an incident reported – including the use of pyrotechnics, missiles being thrown at players and hate crime.
Arrests in and around football grounds are up by almost 50 per cent too, compared with this stage last season.
The police also say that they are seeing more cases of younger fans becoming involved in disorder.
The figures come after a weekend that saw a number of high profile incidents.
Mid-season disorder stats
- 36% increase in reported incidents of disorder – 759 reported incidents, up from 560 in 2019/20 season
- In 2019/20 season, 34% of games had an incident reported, but this season it is 48%
- 802 football-related arrests – the highest number of incidents police have had since when these stats started in 2015/16 season
- Biggest increase in reported incidents is in the Championship (58%) and National League (56%)
- Police presence at 46% of games in 2019/20 – this season it is 66% of games
Two men were arrested after objects were thrown at Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger from the Tottenham away end at Stamford Bridge during the Premier League match on Sunday.
Four arrests were made after disorder in the West Ham section at Old Trafford following their 1-0 loss to Manchester United on Saturday.
A man has been charged by Merseyside Police after Lucas Digne and Matty Cash were both struck by a bottle as they celebrated Aston Villa’s opener at Everton on Saturday.
Fan disorder which marred the Euro 2020 final at Wembley was a “near miss” of fatalities and a “source of national shame”, an independent review commissioned by the Football Association found last month.
The review carried out by Baroness Louise Casey of Blackstock found that approximately 2,000 ticketless fans gained entry to the stadium, of which around 400 were ejected, for the showpiece between England and Italy on July 11.
It noted entry to the stadium was through 17 “mass breaches” of disabled access gates and emergency fire doors, which “jeopardised the lives of legitimate supporters and staff”.
Baroness Casey found a “collective failure” by organisations in the preparation for the stature of the match.
She also made five recommendations for national consideration.
The first called on the government to consider a new category for matches of national significance, with enhanced security measures and stricter policies around the sale and consumption of alcohol.
It called for a review of stewarding, and for who is accountable in ‘Zone Ex’, the area immediately around the stadium, tougher penalties for individuals found guilty of football-related disorder and an FA campaign to bring about a “sea change” in attitudes among supporters.
The UK’s football policing lead hopes the damning report into the Euro 2020 final “kills” recommendations to allow fans to drink alcohol at their seats inside stadiums.
As part of the recent fan-led review into football governance chaired by Conservative MP Tracey Crouch, a pilot scheme that would allow fans to drink alcohol in sight of the pitch at games in the National League and League Two has been recommended.
But concerns have been raised by Chief Constable Mark Roberts, the National Police Chiefs’ lead for football policing, in light of an independent review of the Euro 2020 final commissioned by the FA.
The report indicated that excessive alcohol and drug misuse contributed to some of the disorder outside and inside the stadium on July 11.
In a wide-ranging interview with Sky Sports News, Roberts said that legislation needs to be changed and authorities cannot be complacent when it comes to trying to prevent similar behaviour from occurring in the future.