I’ve already mentioned in a previous post that Millwall is the English team with the highest ratio of fans arrested. In the last 10 years, 2.5 supporters were arrested for every 10,000 attendees to their games.
Is this a London phenomenon? Do football supporters from the capital get in trouble more often that the rest of the country? Well, actually they don’t. If you have a look to the chart below you’ll see that only 4 teams are above the national average: Millwall, Chelsea, West Ham and Tottenham. There’s something in the docklands…
The chart below analyses the evolution through time of the arrest ratio of current Premier League teams. Be aware that not all of them have been in the Premier League for the whole period, so I’ve used a different colour to highlight the years they spent in Championship.
The general trend is a decline in the number of arrests in the last decade, you can see that both in London teams and in the national average. Nevertheless, there are some teams that consistently perform worse than the national average, particularly Chelsea, West Ham and Tottenham (just at the beginning of the decade).
There are some interesting peaks that can be explained by particular incidents that provoked a higher number of arrests. For example, in season 2008/2009, West Ham reached their highest ratio for the whole series. This was the year when the Upton Park riot took place, a battle between Hammers’ and Millwall’s supporters. I couldn’t any particular event for the Spurs peak in 2005/2006, so I’ve you know what happened that year let me know!
The main reason for being arrested is public disorder, followed by alcohol offences and violent disorder. But some offences are more common in some teams than in others. For example, Spurs are the club with the highest percentage of fans arrested due to alcohol offences. West Ham are leaders in racist chanting and an important percentage of Leyton Orient arrests were caused by pitch incursions, probably after last year’s game against Peterborough.
You can explore the interactive chart below to see which crowds are more likely to commit each type of offence. But careful, it doesn’t include data for 2009/2010 because that year the Home Office merged public and violent disorder in a way that we can’t compare it with other years.