Police cracking down on football fans amid increase in Leeds United banning orders
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Leeds United have seen an increase in banning orders among their supporters, along with several other top flight clubs.
The Home Office have published new figures concerning Football Banning Orders amid a crackdown on fan behaviour.
The Office has released a statement confirming an increase in arrests compared to the pre-covid era.
Arrests have risen by 59 per cent, with as many as 2,198 arrests across the country during the 2021/22 season, and 1,308 banning orders issued to supporters of all clubs in place by the end of the campaign, including 516 new suspensions.
Amid rising arrest and banning order totals, the police are cracking down on bad fan behaviours in a bid to make stadiums safer for match-goers, and indeed players amid concerns over pitch invasions towards the end of last season.
Lead for football policing, chief constable Mark Roberts has said: “Disorder is a problem that has not gone away, and throughout the whole of last season we saw an increase in crime at football matches across the country - from the Premier League right down to the National League.
“Following constructive talks with the Premier League, EFL and FA we are keen to support our partners in delivering their proposals – which include the introduction of stadium bans for people who enter the pitch, as well as those who use pyrotechnics.
“We are also pleased that the Government is adding Class A drugs offences to the banning order legislation. This will provide police with another option to tackle criminal and anti-social behaviour by those who are under the influence of drugs.
“Anyone who commits a criminal offence either outside or inside a football ground can expect to face the consequences of their actions. The increase in arrests demonstrates that the police are taking positive action, working closely with the CPS. We collectively need to make football a safe environment for the overwhelming majority of supporters who just want to enjoy the game.”
As far as Leeds are concerned, there were 10 new banning orders handed out last season, up from eight in the previous season with fans.
In August 2021, the Whites had 13 fans under banning orders, and by the end of July 2022, 18 fans were under such suspensions.
Of the new banning orders, five fans were from the 18-34 age group, while three were between 35-49 and two between 50 and 64.
Following news that a 21-year-old supporter had been issued a banning order after striking Manchester United’s Anthony Elanga with a projectile in February, a Leeds United spokesman said earlier this week: “Anyone caught throwing objects on to the field, we would take a dim view and they would receive a lifetime ban."
In terms of total banning orders currently in place, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, West Ham and Wolves all have more.