South Yorkshire clubs rank high in annual football arrest figures

More of Sheffield’s football fans are being arrested on matchdays, according to figures released today.

Sheffield Wednesday saw 48 arrests in the 2015/16 season, the third highest in the Championship and up 50% on the previous year. Seven in every 10 offences were for public disorder and alcohol offences.

Across the city, Sheffield United ranked second in League One with 42 arrests, up more than 30% on the 2014/15 season, and behind only Millwall in League 1 . The Blades also ranked highest in the league for the most public disorder offences, with 23.

Fellow South Yorkshire club Doncaster Rovers saw a 70% increase in arrests to 34, the fourth highest arrest figure in League One.

The number of banning orders issued to fans by South Yorkshire’s clubs varied across the region, with Sheffield United, Barnsley and Doncaster seeing an increase but Sheffield Wednesday and Chesterfield FC experiencing a fall.

A spokesperson for the SWFC Supporters’ Club attributed the public disorder and alcohol offences arrests to a new “concourse culture”, where fans gather, sing and throw beer on the concourse at half time. However, they stressed that “it’s disappointing the figures have risen – but it represents less than 8 fans per 100,000 and doesn’t suggest we have a ‘problem’.”

In response to the figures, Sheffield United said: ““We continue to work very closely with the authorities in an attempt to make Sheffield United matches a safe environment for all supporters.”

The data, released by the Home Office this morning, show the first increase in arrests in three years.