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Top 10 England’s Football Stadiums With The Most Crime

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06/06/2022
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11min read
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Editorial
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With England being the country that birthed football, we certainly are a nation renowned for its passionate footie fans, and sadly, football hooligans! With some stadiums being crime hot spots, the beautiful game isn’t always so beautiful.  

From awful racist chants to drunken behavior, football fights and even missile throwing, (yep- that’s a thing!) it’s fair to say that sometimes, football fans can get a pretty bad rep.  

Though most people will, of course, do their best to stay out of trouble while cheering on their team in the stadium (or releasing their inner Atomic Kitten and singing a love song for Gareth Southgate) there are some football clubs that are renowned for being a little rougher than others.   

That’s why the footie mad team at Odds Comparison have created the ultimate guide to the football stadiums where the most football-related crimes occur. To create the score for the footie stadiums with the most crime, we looked at crimes committed within different English stadiums over the past eight years. Considering the capacity of the stadiums too, we were then able to create a crime score out of 10 

Is your team on the list? Let’s take a look. 

Stadiums with the Most Crime Rate

So, the English football stadium with the most crime, with a score of 7.87 out of 10, is Portsmouth’s Fratton Park. Sorry, Pompeys! We know you’re a good bunch really. 

1. Portsmouth

Portsmouth’s most common crime was antisocial behavior, with 1,454 instances over the past eight years. According to Crimestoppers, antisocial behavior means stuff like shouting, swearing and fighting, as well as vandalism, abusive behavior and harassment. Basically, what we all think of as typical football hooligan behavior.  

Of course, there’s going to be a bit of shouting and swearing at any match, but attendees will find themselves in a spot of trouble if they’re harassing, intimidating or fighting other people. And we all know how crazy football fights can get.  

Don’t be too devastated though, Portsmouth fans. We aren’t saying you’re football hooligans – you actually have zero recorded instances of ticket touting or possession of offensive weapons in the last eight years. Kudos!  

2. Millwall

Coming in at number two is The Den, home of the formidable Millwall Football Club based in South East London. They have a score of 7.53 out of 10, and have a pretty high score when it comes to violent disorder, with 69 instances in the past eight years. They also came out as having the highest instance of crime overall during the 2015/2016 season. In terms of violent disorder offenses, The Den comes second only to Birmingham City’s stadium, which has a pretty scary figure of 91!  

3. Blackpool

We’re taking a trip down the M1 next, to the home of the Blackpool Tower. We’ve given you a pretty big clue about which club takes the third spot- but in case you haven’t guessed, it’s Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road, which had the highest overall crime rate during the 2020/2021 season. Overall, the Tangerines had the most offenses for criminal damage and arson, with 1,233 instances over the past eight years- these fans are certainly adding some fuel to the fire! 

Don’t hang up those orange scarves yet though, The Seasiders didn’t have any recorded instances of possession of weapons or ticket touting during the whole eight-year span. 

4. Birmingham City

Next up, we’re in the Midlands, with Birmingham City’s St Andrew’s stadium coming in fourth place, with a score of 7.38. Although not in the top three overall, Birmingham City did have the most crimes committed in the 2016/17 season, the 2017/18 season, and the 2019/20 season. C’mon, Brummies. We love ya, but your team also comes top overall in missile throwing and public disorder. Yikes.  

5. Burnley

It’s turf luck for Burnley’s Turf Moor, who just managed to sneak into the top five, with a crime score of 7.36. Though they didn’t score the highest for any specific crime, or during any particular season, they did come in the overall top three for criminal damage and arson, and in the top five for burglary over the eight-year period.  

6. Wolves

In the sixth spot, we’re back in the Midlands with Wolves at their Molineux stadium. They just missed the top five, with a crime score of 7.24. They did, however, have the highest overall crime score during the 2015/16 season.  

7. Chelsea

Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge was the tiniest sliver behind the Wolves, with an overall score of 7.23. The Blues came in the top five for criminal damage offenses, ticket touting and burglary. They were also number one for vehicle crime- so lock your car doors if you’re off to see The Pensioners!  

Things get a little more civilized as we make our way down the list, with none of the clubs in spots seven to 10 having a crime score above seven.  

8. Queens Park Rangers

While supporters of Queens Park Rangers may have some way to go to match the debauchery of their noted fan Pete Doherty, that did not stop the Loftus Road club taking eighth spot with a score of 6.48. Although their figures are tame compared to some of the other London clubs on our list, The Hoops did find themselves in the top five for antisocial behavior and drug offences.  

9. Leeds

Taking the ninth spot is Leeds United’s Elland Road stadium, with a score of 6.41, Leeds actually has the highest overall incidence of pitch incursion, with 46 instances in just eight years! Guys, we know you want to show some love to Kalvin Phillips, but you could just follow him on Twitter instead.   

10. Newcastle

The best-behaved footie fans (comparatively) are Newcastle United’s fans whose base is the St James’ Park. They score 6.16, and come out on top for antisocial behavior- by far! They have 7,124 reported incidents of this type, that’s over 2,000 more than the team in second place for this type of crime, which is Blackpool.  

Spotted your team on the list? Don’t panic!

 

We all know those pesky football hooligans are in the minority. After the Wembley 2021 fiasco that saw 86 people arrested, the police have also taken a pretty hardline approach when it comes to the kind of behavior that ruins things for the rest of us. So keep going to those matches and cheering on your team- wherever they may be! 

Methodology

  1. Odds-comparison.com wanted to find which football stadium experiences the most crime. This was done by using two sources of crime statistics. 
  2. First was using the "Football related crimes" dataset published on gov.uk, which featured crimes from 2014-15 to 2020-21. The other set of data was general crime data by location coordinate, published on data.police. 
  3. By taking general crime data from 2014-15 to 2020-21, the coordinates of stadiums in the UK were used to find a 500-metre radius around each stadium. Every crime that fell within this radius was counted, to obtain crimes that occurred in the general vicinity of the stadium. 
  4. These counts of crimes by year were then calculated per capita (per 10,000 people) based on the capacity of each stadium (e.g., number of crimes / capacity * 10,000). 
  5. This weights the data so it accounts for larger stadiums. 
  6. Finally, percentranks were calculated for each year, with a final average score being taken from these values. 
  7. West Ham United moved to The London Stadium in 2016/17, and Tottenham moved to Wembley in 17/18, and then Tottenham Stadium in 19/20. These moves have been taken into account in the data when calculating the crimes in the vicinity of the stadium. 
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