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Football hate crime at matches in England and Wales rose by 47% last season

Football hate crime at matches in England and Wales rose by 47% last season

Racism was reported at 152 matches in the 2018-19 season, up from 94 in the previous period.Incidents of hate crime at football matches in England and Wales rose by 47% last season, according to new Home Office figures.In the 2018-19 season there were hate crime incidents - 79% of which related to race - at 193 matches, up from 131.Manchester City's Raheem Sterling and Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were among Premier League players targeted.
But football-related arrests dropped overall by 10% to 1,381 in 2018-19.The Home Office report said the rise in hate crime is likely to be partially down to improvements in recording incidents at matches.Anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out described the figures as "a serious concern". The organisation added: "It's encouraging to see that more people are comfortable reporting discrimination and we are working hard to make this as easy as possible for all to do, but it is undeniable that we are experiencing a rise in hateful behaviour across the game and wider society. "These figures should serve as a reminder for football - we must increase our efforts to send a clear message to any fan who discriminates at a match: you will be identified, arrested and face a football banning order."Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts, from the National Police Chief's Council, said: "Hate crime is on the rise, and this reflects some of the high profile incidents reported over the past season."We are committed to working with the leagues and clubs to tackle these issues but that will take a sustained focus on security from all concerned."Government data from the Home Office [/i]also showed:
Stoke (80) had the highest number of arrests, 62 of which were related to a single match - their Checkatrade Trophy trip to local rivals Port Vale in December 2018.
Leeds (49) and Aston Villa (42) had the next highest number of arrests.
The number of arrests for racist and indecent chanting fell from 15 in 2017-18 to 14 in 2018-19.
However, that is still twice the number of arrests - seven - for the same offence in 2016-17.
The most common types of offences were public disorder (38%) and violent disorder (19%).
Stoke supporters were issued the highest number of new banning orders during the 2018-19 season - 46.
Newcastle have the most banning orders overall at 71.
It is the seventh consecutive year reported incidents of discrimination within football have increased, and the 581 total reports of hate crime is more than double the figure from five years ago.The 152 matches at which there was racist abuse was an increase of 51% on the previous year.England star Sterling, 24, has spoken out on social media, suggesting newspapers' portrayal of black players fed prejudice and aggressive behaviour.The Manchester City forward has been praised for being a role model and won last season's Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year award.In a statement Stoke said: "The latest Home Office statistics do not make for pleasant reading, but to provide some context 62 of the 80 arrests were as a result of anti-social behaviour that occurred both during and after the Checkatrade Trophy fixture against Port Vale in December 2018."Of the other 18 arrests, only five of those were made at home fixtures at the bet365 Stadium where, working in partnership with the police and authorities, we are continuing to do everything we can to try and eradicate anti-social behaviour from football."
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