The shocking extent of criminal and anti-social behavior at matches in England and Wales last season was exposed in data released by the Home Office on Thursday.
Incidents of disorder reported at matches in England and Wales are up 60% from the last full season before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Incidents were reported at 1,609 of the 3,019 matches played in England and Wales last season, or 53%.
In 2018-19, incidents were reported in 1,007 games, equivalent to one-third of games played.
There were 441 games where pitch invasions were reported last season – a staggering 127% increase from the 2018-19 campaign – and 384 games where a hate crime incident was reported, an increase by 99%.
Football-related arrests rose 59% to 2,198 – the highest number of arrests since 2,273 in the 2013-14 season.
West Ham have recorded the most arrests for a single club – 95 during the season – followed by Manchester City (76), Manchester United (72), Leicester (59) and Everton (58).
Authorities issued 516 new football banning orders during the 2021-22 season, and 1,308 were in effect at the end of the season.
There were 729 games where the possession of pyrotechnics was reported and 561 where the launching of missiles was reported.
The arrest rate was 5.2 per 100,000 participants in 2021-22, the highest figure since rates were first published for the 2014-15 season.
On Wednesday, the Premier League announced the introduction of a minimum one-year ban from home and away matches for any fan found guilty of entering the pitch or carrying or using pyrotechnics.
Chief Constable Mark Roberts, National Council of Chiefs of Police officer for football policing, said on Thursday: “Disorder is a problem that has not gone away, and throughout last season we have seen an increase in crime at football games across the country. – from the Premier League to the National League.
“Following constructive discussions with the Premier League, EFL and FA, we are keen to support our partners in delivering on their proposals – including the introduction of stadium bans for people entering the pitch. , as well as those that use pyrotechnics.
“The statistics released today show a worrying increase in these crimes, which are both extremely dangerous for players, staff and other supporters. As well as being banned, anyone who commits these offenses should also expect be prosecuted by the police.
“We know that drug use, along with alcohol, is one of the main factors that lead to disorderly behavior, and we are pleased that the government is adding Class A drug offenses to the prescription legislation prohibition.
“This will give the police another option to tackle criminal and anti-social behavior by those under the influence of drugs.
“Anyone who commits a criminal offense outside or inside a football pitch can expect to suffer the consequences of their actions.
“The increase in arrests and football banning orders shows that the police are taking positive steps to address the issues, working closely with the Crown Prosecution Service.
“We collectively need to make football a safe environment for the overwhelming majority of fans who just want to enjoy the game.”
Restraining orders have been extended to cover anyone convicted of a football-related online hate crime, and the Home Office has pledged to add possession or sale of Class A drugs to the list of offenses for which a restraining order may be imposed.
The Home Office has also taken steps to ensure that women’s domestic gambling is covered by the restraining order scheme.
Home Secretary Jeremy Quin said: “Our football clubs are at the heart of our communities, and it is unacceptable that the game we all love is being tarnished by a minority of selfish troublemakers.
“The increase in football-related arrests shows that the police are taking strong action to stop this disorder and preserve the enjoyment of the game for fans and families, which I wholeheartedly support.”