Pompey had fourth highest number of racist incidents on trains

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POMPEY fans notched up the fourth highest number of racist incidents in the country travelling to and from matches on trains in the last three years.

Figures released by the British Transport Police (BTP) for the number of football-related racist incidents they have dealt with since 2012 - and the team involved - revealed Pompey were only behind Chelsea, Manchester United and Leeds (tied), and West Ham in the standings.

Pompey fans were involved in the fourth highest number of racist incidents travelling to and from matches on trains

Pompey fans were involved in the fourth highest number of racist incidents travelling to and from matches on trains

The total number of incidents dealt with by the force involving Pompey fans was four, a figure joint with Arsenal.

Chelsea’s total was 15, Manchester United and Leeds fans both clocked up 10, and West Ham supporters were involved in eight incidents.

Gavin Sutherland, campaign co-ordinator for charity Show Racism The Red Card, said: ‘This data from police forces around the UK shows that although football clubs have taken strong action against people using racist language inside stadiums, racism is a real problem within society.

‘People who exhibit racist behaviours in 2015 are doing so, in the main, away from football grounds.’

In total the BTP has dealt with 128 allegations of racism since 2012, with 44 in 2012-13, 56 in 2013-14 and 28 from 2014-Feb 2015.

A Portsmouth FC spokesman said: ‘It is very disappointing to hear fans of the club have been involved in incidents of this sort. As a club we are totally committed to making Fratton Park a safe and secure place for fans from all sections of our community to come and watch football.

‘Any reported incidents of a discriminatory nature in the stadium are fully investigated and dealt with appropriately, including the banning of supporters if necessary.

‘The club is also involved in a range of measures and campaigns to underline our commitment to eradicating discrimination of all forms.’

Mr Sutherland added: ‘The campaign works with young people and adults not just to educate against racism, but encourage the use and development of critical thinking skills to break down the misinformation that supports racist beliefs.’