July 29 2014 Latest news:
firstname.lastname@example.org, Crime correspondent
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
They have often been dubbed the best in the world and now Norwich City fans are officially among the best behaved in the whole country according to new figures.
Newcastle United 175
Manchester United 145
Manchester City 95
West Ham United 67
Aston Villa 51
Stoke City 32
Tottenham Hotspur 32
Queens Park Rangers 20
Wigan Athletic 18
Norwich City 12
West Bromwich Albion 10
Just 12 Canaries fans were arrested – seven at Carrow Road and five away from home – in the 2012-13 Premier League season with only West Brom (10), Fulham (nine) and relegated Reading (nine) from that league having fewer.
More Newcastle United fans were arrested at football matches during the 2012-13 season than any other club in the whole country, with 175 falling foul of the law.
Meanwhile City’s arch East Anglian rivals Ipswich had the best behaved supporters in the Championship last season with just four arrests made.
The statistics, released by the Home Office, also showed there were just 10 banning orders – introduced in 2000 in a bid to tackle football violence and disorder – issued against Norwich supporters compared to 110 at Chelsea.
Bosses at Norwich City Football Club said the statistics help demonstrate what wonderful – and well behaved – supporters the club has.
Chris Bailey, head of operations at Carrow Road, said: “I think it just reinforces the fact that Norwich City fans have won the Barclays Premier League Fair Play Award for the last two seasons on the trott.
“I think while any arrest or banning order is regrettable it really shows the really great and brilliant support that we get from our fans at Norwich City. There’s a way of celebrating and a way not to celebrate I guess and our fans do it the right way.”
Mr Bailey said the figures helped demonstrate that City fans were the best in the Premier League and admitted he was hopeful the club could yet grab a third fair play awards which nets the club £20,000 to spend in the community.
He said: “There are other teams there but I’m sure we will be there or there abouts.”
The figures have been released at a time when fans are already flying high following the publication of the club’s annual accounts which revealed City are virtually debt free following an “unprecedented” turnaround in its fortunes just a few years after fluttering on the edge of the financial abyss.
Canaries fan Kathy Blake, a committee member of the Norwich City Supporters Trust, said she was pleased but “not surprised” by what the statistics revealed.
She said: “I think it’s been like that even in the bad old days in the 1970s when there was lots of hooliganism and crowd trouble – we’ve always been nice Norwich. I think it helps that we live in a nice part of the country with not much squalor and people who come from a nice environment tend to want to keep it that way. What probably also helps is that there hasn’t been a derby.”
Norfolk police have also welcomed the figures which they say highlights the good working relationship the forces has with the club.
Superintendent Mike Fawcett said: “We work closely with Norwich City Football Club to ensure that all fans can enjoy a safe and welcoming matchday experience. The vast majority of people attend Carrow Road to support their team but for the small minority who do cause trouble, we will take every opportunity to apply for a banning order and prevent them from attending games in the future.”
The Home Office showed that the number of football-related arrests at matches in England and Wales, which were attended by about 39 million people, rose by 4pc last year to 2,456 compared to 2,363 the year before which was the lowest-ever arrest figures.
The report said: “The general downwards trend in football-related arrests is continuing, although there remains a significant risk it will escalate if efforts to prevent and tackle football-related disorder are reduced.”
Malcolm Clarke, chairman of the Football Supporters’ Federation, insisted the increase in arrests was no cause for alarm.
He said: “While there’s no room for complacency, my daughter and I feel much safer going to a football match at weekends than I do walking past the clubs and pubs near my home on a Saturday evening.
“We never like to see arrest figures rise but the increase is minimal compared to last year’s 23pc decrease.
“It is time that football fans and clubs are given some credit for the huge reduction in football disorder in recent years.”