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Nicholas Mead

Increase in arrests at football matches

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"A "new generation" of hooligans sparked a big increase in arrests at football matches last season – prompting fears of a return to the dark days of the 1970s and 80s." reports pinkun.com.

Oh really? According to the Home Office the increase was caused by "low tolerance" policing, lingering domestic football problems with only "indications" of an emerging new generation of troublemakers.

And has there been a big increase? Because of variations in other matches comparatibve statistics are only available for league matches. So arrests per 100,000 attending league matches have been:
97/8: 13.39
98/9: 13.13
99/0: 12.37
00/1: 13.02
01/2: 11.74
02/3: 13.03
Not much sign of any trend there - certainly no "big increase" over the last 6 years. The worst that can truthfully be said is that the decline in arrest in the mid 90s has stopped.

And one more thing. Just because an arrest is made it doesn''t mean an offence has been committed. As the Home Office points out, but you don''t mention,"a large number of arrests may be down to "preventative police action".

Low tolerance policy. Preventative police action. There isn''t actually anything in these statistics to suggest that hooliganism is getting worse. But that story wouldn''t sell papers would it?

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And this season even our Andy Hughes came under investigation from the old bill. For impersonating a football player.........

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