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Violence on the rise at West Midlands football matches

The scale of disorder at football matches in the West Midlands has been revealed – with arrests for violent disorder on the rise among supporters of Wolves, Villa, Albion, Birmingham City and Walsall.

Disorder among football fans has been on the rise across England and Wales
Disorder among football fans has been on the rise across England and Wales

Reported incidents of disorder at matches across England and Wales were up by 60 per cent compared to 2018-19, the last full season before the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the Midlands, Blues topped the league of shame for total arrests last season with 34.

Villa saw 27 arrests across last season, Wolves and Albion had 20 each and Walsall had eight fans apprehended, according to the Home Office figures.

But it is violent disorder which saw the biggest rise in arrests at each club last term compared to the pre-Covid season of 2018-19.

Among Villa fans, violent disorder arrests rose from nine to 12, Blues and Wolves saw arrests rise from four to nine, Albion was up from three to seven arrests and Saddlers was up from just one arrest in 2018 to four last season.

Nationally, West Ham had the highest number of arrests for a single club – 95 across the season – followed by Manchester City (76), Manchester United (72), Leicester (59) and Everton (58). Wolves’ total arrest figures also included three fans held last year for possessing pyrotechnics, one for throwing missiles, five public disorder and three alcohol/drug related offences.

Villa’s total arrests also included two pitch incursions and two criminal damage offences.

Albion saw one pitch incursion arrest, one pyrotechnic offence and nine public disorder arrests. Saddlers’ total included one pitch incursion, a pyrotechnic offence and one alcohol/drugs related arrest.

Blues were also worst nationally for the number of football banning orders in force with 57, including 10 new bans imposed last season.

Villa had a total of 24 banning orders on fans, five of which were new last season.

Wolves had 23 banning orders, with five new last term. Albion had nine banning orders in place, three of which were new and Saddlers had three in place, all of which were imposed last season.

On Wednesday, the Premier League announced the introduction of a minimum one-year ban from home and away matches for any fan guilty of entering the pitch or carrying or using pyrotechnics.

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