Match football hate crime up by 47%

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Incidents of hate crime at football matches in England and Wales rose by 47% last season, according to Home Office figures.

According to new Home Office figures, incidents of hate crime at football matches in England and Wales increased by 47% last season.

However, football-related arrests dropped overall by 10% to 1,381 in 2018-19.

The PFA’s Head of Equalities Simone Pound said, “The figures demonstrate a worrying trend for a growing climate of hate across society. 

“Football isn’t just a part of the problem it is part of the solution and we must all work together to create a fair and equal environment for everyone.”

Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts, from the National Police Chief's Council, said: "Hate crime is on the rise, and this reflects some of the high profile incidents reported over the past season.

"We are committed to working with the leagues and clubs to tackle these issues but that will take a sustained focus on security from all concerned."

There have been recent improvements in the recording of incidents which the Home Office says could partially explain the rise in figures.

Government data from the Home Office also showed:

  • Stoke (80) had the highest number of arrests, 62 of which were related to a single match - their Checkatrade Trophy trip to local rivals Port Vale in December 2018.
  • Leeds (49) and Aston Villa (42) had the next highest number of arrests.
  • The number of arrests for racist and indecent chanting fell from 15 in 2017-18 to 14 in 2018-19.
  • However, that is still twice the number of arrests - seven - for the same offence in 2016-17.
  • The most common types of offences were public disorder (38%) and violent disorder (19%).
  • Stoke supporters were issued the highest number of new banning orders during the 2018-19 season - 46.
  • Newcastle have the most banning orders overall at 71.

Other notable points include that this is the seventh successive year reported incidents of discrimination within football have risen. The number of reports, 581, has more than doubled from the figure five years ago.

In a statement Stoke said: "The latest Home Office statistics do not make for pleasant reading, but to provide some context 62 of the 80 arrests were as a result of anti-social behaviour that occurred both during and after the Checkatrade Trophy fixture against Port Vale in December 2018.

"Of the other 18 arrests, only five of those were made at home fixtures at the bet365 Stadium where, working in partnership with the police and authorities, we are continuing to do everything we can to try and eradicate anti-social behaviour from football."