Canaries' fans on good behaviour

PUBLISHED: 12:53 25 October 2006 | UPDATED: 09:45 14 September 2010

It's official - Norwich City fans are among the best behaved in the country. Latest Home Office figures show that during the 2005/06 football season there were just 15 arrests of Canaries fans at Championship games involving the club.

It's official - Norwich City fans are among the best behaved in the country.

Latest Home Office figures show that during the 2005/06 football season there were just 15 arrests of Canaries fans at Championship games involving the club.

The figures have fallen dramatically when compared to the previous three seasons, despite the fact that average attendances have risen, and supporters were today praised by both the club and police.

Of the 44 clubs in England's top two divisions, Norwich had the fifth lowest number of arrests, behind only Watford (2), Crewe (7), Fulham (12) and Brighton (13). The club's bitter rivals Ipswich had 21 fans arrested during the same season.

Nationally football related arrests were down by 7pc to 3,642 and have now fallen by 22pc over the past three seasons. Meanwhile there has been a 7pc increase in football banning orders, with 3,387 in place as of October 10.

Alex Warren of Waveney Yellows said he had noticed a definite change in atmosphere at Carrow Road in recent years.

He said: “I worked as a steward about 20 years ago and it was very different then. It was very rough but it has definitely got better.

“I am happy to bring my 11-year-old to game sand I know he will be safe. I think football has changed for the good and it is no longer fashionable to cause trouble which it used to be in the past.

“Norwich has always been a friendly, family club, but I think even more so now because you see more children and women at games than ever before.

“I think it has also helped having the riverside complex because now there is a nice relaxing area for fans to go before a game, rather than all just heading for the dingy pubs as we had to do in the past.”

Of the 15 arrests of Norwich fans, 13 were at home matches and two away. Eleven were for public order offences, three alcohol offences and one for breach of a banning order.

There were 25 city fans arrested during both the 2004/05 and 2003/04 seasons and 43 in 2002/03.

The Home Office also revealed 14 fans are currently the subject of orders banning them from attending Norwich games - the same as last year.

This figure was sixth lowest out of all the Premiership and Championship teams, behind Ipswich (6), Fulham (8) Southend (9), Watford (12) and Crystal Palace (13).

A club spokesman said: “At Norwich City we are blessed with an extremely loyal and well-behaved fan-base. And while there is always room for improvement, these figures are pleasing and again demonstrate why City fans are held in such high regard around the country. They are true ambassadors for the Football Club.”

PC Andy King, of Norwich's Football Unit, said: “Norwich City is a family club and we work closely with them to carefully risk assess every match and make sure the appropriate level of police officers are available to prevent disorder and protect match-goers.

“I think the word has got round among the fans that if you cause trouble either at home or away games, the police will make arrests and you stand a good chance of being banned from attending matches for a considerable time.

“This has undoubtedly had a deterrent effect and I think that's why we have seen less trouble in the last season and there have been fewer arrests.”

Do you have a Norwich City story? Contact David Powles on 01603 772447 or email david.powles@archant.co.uk.

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