Happy Fans

NEW Home Office figures have revealed that the general downward trend in football-related arrests is continuing.

The total number of arrests at professional football matches during the 2012-13 season was less than 0.01% of the 39m people attending games.

This equates to one arrest for every 14,000 people and less than one arrest per game (Championship: 1.13 arrests per game; League 1: 0.42 arrests per game; and League 2: 0.29 arrests per game).

There were just five arrests at Home Park last season, with only one banning order issued.

Argyle Chief Executive Martyn Starnes said: “We all know that the Green Army is a responsible, co-operative and good-natured set of supporters, and we work diligently with the relevant authorities to ensure that Home Park remains a hospitable and safe place.

“Mums and dads know that they can come with their children to watch Plymouth Argyle – or send their sons and daughters to Home Park on their own – in the knowledge that they are attending a friendly and family-oriented venue.

“We are rightly proud that our FIL Family Zone for All helped see the club named League 2 Family Club of the Year at the prestigious Football League Awards last season, since when we have significantly extended and improved the facilities.

“That includes the recent launch of the Argyle Community Trust’s latest initiative for our young supporters – their own unique Members club, the PL2 Crew.

“On Saturday, when Portsmouth visit, young people and their families, supporting both Pompey and the Pilgrims, will come together in friendship to celebrate their mutual love of football.”

Last season, a total of 2,456 people were arrested at games played in the Football League, Premier League, Football Conference, domestic cup competitions, European competitions, international football and the Olympics. This represents an increase of 93 arrests on similar figures for 2011-12 which were the lowest on record.

The number of football banning orders in operation has declined by 11% to 2,451.

Football League Chairman Greg Clarke said: “The domestic game is ever vigilant about the threat of serious crowd disorder at our matches and works closely with the relevant authorities to ensure that our grounds are a safe place to watch football.

“To this end, Football League clubs spend more than £6m each season on policing matches and over £10m on their own security and stewarding operations.

“It is encouraging to see that there were no arrests at three quarters of the matches played in England and Wales.

“I believe it demonstrates that the game’s approach to crowd management is the right one and is improving all the time.”

The Home Office report can be viewed by clicking here.