Image credit: “Soccer Stadium” by martha_chapa95 is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
The government has this week released data in respect to football-related crime and disorder.
The key findings are:
• Incidents were reported at more than half of all matches (53%) – 1,609 of the 3,019 matches played
• Around 70% of fans arrested last season were aged between 18-30
• In 2018-19 – the last full season before Covid-19 restrictions – there were 1,381 arrests and reported incidents at 1,007 matches, equivalent to one-third of the games played
• It means reported incidents were up by 60% last season compared with 2018-19
• There were 441 pitch invasions reported last season – up by 127% on 2018-19
• Football-related arrests were up 59% – the highest number of arrests since 2,273 were made in 2013-14
• 516 new banning orders were issued – down on 549 in 2018-19
• Top three clubs for new banning orders – Millwall (33), Leicester City (28) and Everton (26)
• The most reported types of incidents were pyrotechnics (729 matches where incidents were reported), throwing missiles (561) and public order or anti-social behaviour incidents involving youth supporters (444).
In addition to any substantive criminal offences that might be prosecuted as a result of criminal behaviour, those suspected also face the prospect of civil banning orders and, in some cases, injunctions preventing them from entering sports grounds.
For those found guilty, penalties can and often do include custodial sentences and of course, football banning orders severely curtailing an individual’s involvement in future sporting events. Even relatively minor anti-social behaviour at a football ground could result in a ban.
Recent legislation means banning orders can be made for abuse involving racial or other hateful hostility that occurs online.
You must seek early legal assistance if you face an investigation or prosecution for any football-related incident. The legislative framework around football banning orders is particularly complex and often misunderstood by prosecutors and some defence lawyers who are not well versed in the procedural and evidential issues that often arise.
How can we help?
We ensure we keep up to date with any changes in legislation and case law so that we are always best placed to advise you properly. If you would like to discuss any aspect of your case, please contact any member of our vastly experienced Criminal Defence team, for assistance with any criminal law related matter.
- Blog 367