Praise for Pompey fans as banning orders are reduced

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Police in Middle Street, Portsmouth, over the weekend.

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Pompey fans have been praised after the number of hooligans subject to football banning orders plummeted.

Forty-nine troublemakers are barred from matches following disorder at the club's games - 17 of whom received banning orders in the last year. But this marks a 44 per cent year-on-year drop from the 88 fans subject to orders in the 2008/9 season, according to latest Home Office figures.

Police put the drop in banning orders down to a combination of factors including fans' fear of being stopped from going to watch Pompey play if they cause trouble.

PC Mick Brown, football liaison officer for Portsmouth, said: 'Banning orders have changed fans' outlook on football violence.

'The people who are genuine football fans do not want to get banned so it has had a big positive effect for policing as far as we are concerned and there is less trouble because of it.

'It still happens but we have a policy in Hampshire that we will automatically apply for a banning order for anybody who commits a football-related offence.'

As previously reported, 45 fans were arrested - 21 at home games and 24 at away clashes - marking a 45 per cent increase on the previous season.

Of those 24 were for violent or public disorder offences, two for throwing missiles, 11 for pitch invasion and one fan was arrested of breaching a banning order. A further six were arrested for alcohol or property offences. Anyone caught flouting a banning order faces arrest, being hauled before the courts, a fine and up to six months in prison.