Football fans in East Anglia are amongst the best behaved in the country, according to the latest figures released by the Home Office.
During their last season in the Premier league, no Norwich City fans received banning orders and just four arrests were made.
This number of arrests was the lowest in both the Premier league and the Championship. Considering that the average attendance at Carrow Road topped 26,000 last season, this is a remarkable achievement for the club.
To compare, Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion, whose average attendances were very close to City’s last term, had 47 and 31 arrests imposed upon fans respectively. The worst offenders in terms of banning orders were Newcastle United with 95, while 112 arrests were made against Manchester United fans.
Norwich City Supporters Trust Chairman Robin Sainty, welcomed the figures, telling Concrete: “As a Supporter’s Trust we think it’s vital that a club has a family friendly atmosphere”.
“Children are the next generation of fans so need to be made welcome and encouraged to return”, he added.
The East Anglian derby between Norwich and Ipswich Town is always a feisty and tightly contested affair, and this season saw the fixture return for the first time in three years. Despite the bitter rivalry between the clubs, just two arrests were made on the day of the match at Portman Road. This marks a significant reduction from the 19 arrests and 13 ejections made from Ipswich’s home ground in April 2011 when the teams last met.
Police thanked fans after the derby game for the “good-natured spirit shown by both sets of supporters in the build-up to the game and then afterwards”. Policing operations commander Inspector for Suffolk, Matt Rose, continued to highlight that “firm, but fair” measures were put in place to ensure fans enjoyed the game.
Ipswich themselves enjoy a good reputation in terms of fan behaviour, as just two fans were handed banning orders, with seven arrested for football-related crimes last season.
The return fixture is set to take place at Carrow Road on February 28th and fans are already clamouring for tickets, with the game expected to sell out very quickly.
Sainty, continued: “[The derby] will always evoke strong emotions which, sadly, appeal to idiots on both sides”. The Chairman of the Trust also called for more liaison between the Police and supporters’ groups, but admitted that “in recent years the policing at Carrow Road has been sensitively handled and resulted in very little trouble”.
Whatever the outcome of the game, it is hoped that fans of both sides continue to uphold their outstanding records regarding fan behaviour both home and away.