(Reuters) – The 2022-23 season in England and Wales had a nine-year high of 2,264 football-related arrests while 1,624 football banning orders were in force, Britain’s Home Office said in a report published on Thursday.
The arrests included 200 for possession of class A drugs while 101 arrests were made related to last year’s World Cup in Qatar, with 90% of arrests being supporters of clubs in England’s top five divisions.
West Ham United had the highest number of arrests for a second straight season (89) followed by Manchester United (83) and Leeds United (69).
Police also made 123 arrests in connection to England and Wales matches, with 101 related to the World Cup in Qatar.
“The most common football-related arrest offence types were public disorder (34%), violent disorder (21%), alcohol offences (9%) and the possession of class A drugs (9%),” the Home Office said in a statement.
“Over the past decade, the proportion of arrests by offence type has remained stable, with the exception of alcohol offences which have decreased over time (from 25% in the 2013-2014 season to 9% in the 2022-2023 season)…
“Arrests for pitch incursion decreased by 53% (-166) compared with the 2021-2022 season.”
The total number of arrests was the highest in a season since 2013-14 while it was also the highest number of new football banning orders in force since the 2010-11 season.
Manchester United supporters had the highest number of football banning orders in force (69), followed by Millwall (66) and Leicester City (56).
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)