The News of the World, Extra crime

Sunday, 24 August, 2008

Extra crime

FOOTBALL violence has EXPLODED among fans at lower league clubs, new figures show.

The number of arrests rose by more than a QUARTER last season-from 1,496 in 2006/7 to 1,900-at non-Premiership matches.

Offences included carrying weapons, throwing missiles, arson and assault, the Government figures reveal.

It comes a few months after the Home Office boasted how arrests at Premiership games had plummeted by 46 per cent in the last three years.

Shadow police minister David Ruffley, who uncovered the new figures, blamed cheap booze and an inadequate police presence.

He added: "There remains a mindless minority of 'fans' who continue to go out on match days to cause trouble."