The UK’s head of football policing has asked the sport’s English authorities “for an urgent meeting” to discuss disorder at matches.

Chief constable Mark Roberts has written to the Football Association, Premier League and English Football League to request talks on the issue.

“When we receive all their responses a meeting date will be set,” he said.

There were 759 reported incidents of disorder in the first six months of this season.

That compares with 560 in the same six-month period for the 2019-20 campaign, which – prior to this season – was the last one without coronavirus restrictions.

Roberts has a “pre-planned” meeting the Premier League on Friday to discuss match scheduling, but wants to arrange more detailed talks on disorder.

"[The meeting on Friday] is relevant to one element of the issue but not the broader discussion that we urgently need."

Chief Constable Mark Roberts, UK head of football policing

More trouble, more arrests, fewer games – the key stats

 

Data collected from 1 July to 31 December 2021 from English domestic competitions only and compared with the same six-month period for season 2019-20 – the last one without restrictions pre-pandemic

  • 802 football-related arrests so far this season – an increase in 47% from 547 arrests in 2019-20 – the highest number of arrests since UKFPU started collating in season 2015-16.
  • Incidents of disorder reported at almost half (48%) of all games across Premier League, EFL and National League – compared to 34% in season 2019-20.
  • There were 759 reported incidents of disorder – including flares, missiles and hate crime – up 36% from 560 in 2019-20.
  • 210 incidents were involving young supporters under the age of 25, up from 154 in 19-20. The five-year average of incidents involving under 25s was 168.
  • That’s despite fewer games this season (1,581) because of postponements, than in 2019-20 (1,670).
  • The biggest increase in reported incidents of disorder is in the Championship and National League. Up 58% in the Championship and 56% in the National League from 2019-20.
  • Police presence at 66% of football matches across the top five English divisions, compared with 46% of games in 2019-20.

Original article published on 27.01.22 on the BBC Sport website

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