Lincoln City arrests 'skewed by pre-season friendly'
A few isolated incidents are to blame for Lincoln City having the most arrests in their league for football-related disorder, according to police.
Home Office statistics show there were 22 arrests at Imps games between September 2014 and September 2015.
All were home fixtures, and 14 alone were made at a pre-season friendly against Doncaster Rovers.
Lincoln play in the National League - the fifth tier of English football.
Out of 12 banning orders issued in the same period, eight also came after the Doncaster game.
Andy Pearson, football liaison officer for Lincolnshire Police, blamed the fixture for making the figures look much worse.
He said: "Although the 22 arrests top the figures for the National League - disorder has actually been reduced by about 25% compared with the previous year.
"Most of the time it is a safe environment."
Alex Matthews, who has had a Lincoln City season ticket for 16 seasons, said: "In the past Lincoln have had a poor reputation but it's not as bad as it once was.
"There seem to be less examples of disorder caused by Lincoln fans, especially since relegation in 2011."
Police arrested 11 men on suspicion of violent disorder following a game against Boreham Wood in September.
"I think education is key in tackling the problem," said PC Pearson.
"There is a lot of peer pressure - young people getting influenced by friends."
He added that all involved with Lincoln City were working extremely hard to ensure fans from all clubs could enjoy trouble-free match days in the city.
Bristol Rovers, who were promoted from the Conference to League Two, topped the league for banning orders, with 30 issued during the 2014/15 season.
Chester FC were second for the number of arrests, with 19 during the season.
Football Disorder in Lincoln
- Back in 2012, 21 people were arrested after Lincoln and Luton supporters clashed inside The Ritz pub in the city
- During the violence, furniture and glasses were thrown and two women were treated at Lincoln Hospital for minor injuries from flying glass
- In September 2014, Four people were arrested for alleged offences relating to the derby between Lincoln and Grimsby Town
- One of the arrests was for an alleged assault on a police officer