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Football Arrests (408A/22)


Please may I have the following information regarding football policing in the season of 2018/19 and 2021/22 per game across the top 4 divisions:

  • The amount of police in attendance
  • The cost to the public purse
  • The amount the clubs were invoiced for each game
  • Arrests made
  • What police resources were allocated to each game


Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide this information within the appropriate (cost) limit within the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act (see ‘Reason for Decision’ below).

Although excess cost removes the force’s obligations under the Freedom of Information Act, as a gesture of goodwill I have supplied information, relative to your request, retrieved before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded (see attached for questions 3 and 4). I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of the request.


Please note that researching each individual case would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).

Please note: Football clubs are currently only legally obliged to pay for the policing on their “footprint”, usually inside the stadium and surrounding car parks. The provision of “consequential policing” outside a football match, for example at a railway station or in the city centre, is currently the responsibility of the police. This includes any costs of such policing. These costs, except for subsistence, are not separately recorded and are therefore not identified. Policing hours are not, in the main, separately collated and are therefore not separately identifiable.

Also, please be advised that with regard to the cost of policing football matches, we only collate the overtime that has been spent and we only record it by club (not game). This will not include any duty time worked on a football match because this would constitute Police Officers carrying out their normal daily duties and therefore not separately recorded/captured.

The cost of compliance with the whole of your request is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond, i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information would exceed the appropriate costs limit under section 12(1) of the FOI Act 2000. For West Midlands Police, the appropriate limit is set at £450, as prescribed by the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004, S.I. 3244.