Arrests and policing on the decline at Leeds United
Arrests made at Elland Road on match days are set to decline for the second season running, with the cost of policing also set to decrease.
Just 61 arrests were recorded at Elland Road last season. Significantly lower than the 2012/13 season where 104 fans were detained over the year.
The cost of policing at Elland Road has also decreased over the previous four years. The 2011/12 season saw Leeds United pay West Yorkshire Police £1,062,700 in comparison to the £209,600 this season, with just seven home fixtures remaining.
The West Yorkshire side argued that policing the streets and car parks is in fact the force’s responsibility as opposed to the Championship club.
In 2014, Leeds United claimed that the West Yorkshire Police still owed the club £800,000 for overcharging policing at home games.
“There’s always a high number of police officers and private security at our home matches,” said season ticket holder, Luke Wroe. “Most fans just want to come and watch the side play, without looking to cause trouble. If anything, it’s the police that are more likely to provoke us than the away contingent.”
Earlier in the month, Millwall fans travelled to Elland Road for the fixture against Leeds United, which passed without any major trouble.
Leeds United fans have argued they are always singled out by police and opposing fans as the bad boys of football, wherever they watch football.
“West Yorkshire Police have got it all wrong,” said Matty Gavan. “Fair enough, there are always a minority of fans that do look to cause trouble, but every club has that. It feels as though the police and the Football League are using Leeds United as a scapegoat.”
Leeds vs Millwall has always been known as the fixture that is liklely to cause the most disruption on matchdays. As a result, West Yorkshire Police placed a restriction on the amount of away fans they could let into Elland Road, offering just 200 tickets to Millwall FC, of which 60 fans turned up.
Sven the Oracle posted a message on Telegraph’s website: “Millwall have been causing trouble for decades. Any restrictions they have placed on them have only themselves to blame for.”
The measures that were put in place meant that visiting Millwall fans had to report to a service station on the motorway, whilst being filmed by police.
“Millwall have caused a lot of trouble in the past,” added Leeds United fan, Gavan. “If I was a Millwall fan, I’d have been livid at the ticket allocation we were given.
“Yes, they are troublemakers. However, to make them have to pick up their tickets from a service station is ludicrous.
“What about those fans that wanted to take the train up? Or maybe the ones that don’t live in London but wanted to watch the game. I think that West Yorkshire Police definitely ruined this fixture.”
In an outburst after Millwall’s 1-0 defeat to Leeds, Ian Holloway told reporters: “It’s only when we play Leeds, we don’t get it anywhere else. It’s not an issue anywhere else.
“I don’t get it. Years ago it was fashionable to do certain things, but we’ve moved on. For me, West Yorkshire Police, get off your arse and don’t treat our supporters differently to anyone else.”