WITH football fans excited about a new season approaching, Cleveland Police is looking back at a season of successful football-related violence prosecutions over the previous year.

There are currently 35 banning orders in place at Middlesbrough Football Club and three at Hartlepool United, which include bans issued for affray, assault, missile throwing, persistent complaints, causing fear or provocation of violence, possession of alcohol in a ground and pitch incursion.

The orders range from three to five years and they follow a catalogue of recent successful investigations into football-related disorder led by Cleveland Police Football Unit and the Force Intelligence Unit.

Following an extensive operation to identify people involved in disorder at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday, April 28 2018 during a match against Middlesbrough and Millwall, 23 suspects were identified, 15 of whom were reported for summons and seven were dealt with via youth interventions.

Banning orders were given to seven Middlesbrough fans and five Millwall fans following the investigation. All of these males were also fined and one was given community service.

Another game held at the Riverside in February this year against Leeds United saw twelve arrests made for offences such as affray, possession of drugs and throwing missiles; leading to three banning orders being issued. Others are awaiting trial.

PC Martyn Ryan, from Cleveland Police Football Unit, said: “Over the course of the last season there were a number of successful prosecutions and banning orders, following thorough investigations carried out by Cleveland Police into football related disorder.

“We work closely with other police Forces and local football clubs to show that there is no place for football violence in Cleveland.

“Genuine football fans should not have to go to matches and be subjected to antisocial behaviour or violence and our job is to help keep people safe so that they can enjoy the game as intended.

“With another season beginning soon, we’d like to thank the law-abiding majority of people who attend matches and ask people to enjoy the game in a safe manner, but also warn the minority of people who go to matches with the intention of causing problems and committing violence that there are consequences for this kind of unwanted behaviour.

“Officers will take action against anyone committing disorder and where appropriate will seek banning orders to prevent further incidents and put people before the court to bring offenders to justice.”