Football hate crime figures show arrests more than doubled last season

Hate crime incidents were reported in relation to 287 matches across the UK in the 2019-20 season, a Home Office report states.

For the first time the data covers verified incidents of hate crime which were related to a particular fixture and were reported to the UK Football Policing Unit by anti-discrimination body Kick It Out and the Football Association.

It also includes online incidents related to particular matches for the first time.

  • 33 (2014-15)

  • 17 (2015-16)

  • 7 (2016-17)

  • 15 (2017-18)

  • 14 (2018-19)

  • 35 (2019-20)

The report said 75 per cent of the incidents (214 matches) related to race.

The match figures cannot be compared to previous seasons, the report said, because in the past these incidents have only been recorded at the discretion of the police force receiving the report.

But the data showed that the number of arrests for racist or indecent chanting more than doubled from 2018-19 to 2019-20 – from 14 to 35 – even though 319 matches were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic and a further 227 were played behind closed doors.