Inspired by theories of environmental criminology, this paper is concerned with the criminogenic potential of football matches. Do matches generate patterns of crime within grounds and beyond them? If so, over what period and over what distance are these effects produced? Police-recorded data for five football stadia for a 6-year timeframe (2005–2010) are examined using non-parametric permutation tests. The spatial extent of any patterns are quantified and used to further examine differences in the temporal distribution of crime and incidents. Change in the spatial distribution of crime and incidents occurred around all five stadia and did so during those periods when the ambient population was elevated on match days. The results provide further support for theories of environmental criminology, suggesting that there is a higher risk of crime and incidents in the areas immediately around stadia during the hours when matches take place.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Block, R.L., and C.R. Block. 2000. Analyzing crime patterns: Frontiers in practice. In Analyzing Crime Patterns: Frontiers of Practice, ed. J.H. Mollenkopf, 137–152. London: Sage.
Branscombe, N.R., and D.L. Wann. 1992. Role of Identification with a Group, Arousal, Categorization Processes, and Self-Esteem in Sports Spectator Aggression. Human Relations 45 (10): 1013–1033.
Brantingham, P.L., and P.J. Brantingham. 1981. Notes on the geometry of crime. In Environmental Criminology, ed. P.J. Brantingham, and P.L. Brantingham, 27–54. Prospect Heights: Waveland Press.
Breetzke, G., and E.G. Cohn. 2013. Sporting Events and the Spatial Patterning of Crime in South Africa: Local Interpretations and International Implications. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice 55 (3): 387–420.
Clarke, J. 1978. Football and working class fans: tradition and change. In Football Hooliganism: The Wider Context, ed. R. Ingham, 37–60. London: Inter-action Imprint.
Cohen, L.E., and M. Felson. 1979. Social Change and Crime Rate Trends: A Routine Activity Approach. American Sociological Review 44: 588–605.
Dunning, E., J. Maguire, P. Murphy, and J. Williams. 1982. The Social Roots of Football Hooliganism. Leisure Studies 39: 458–478.
Elias, N., and E. Dunning. 1971. The Sociology of Sport: A Selection of Readings. London: Frank Cass.
Engstad, P.A. 1975. Environmental opportunities and the ecology of crime. In Crime in Canadian Society, ed. R.A. Silverman, J.J. Teevan, and V.F. Sacco, 203–219. Toronto: Butterworths.
Frosdick, S., and P. Marsh. 2005. Football Hooliganism. London: Willan.
Good, P.I. 2000. Analyzing the Large Number of Variables in Biomedical and Satellite Imagery. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Guilianotti, R. 1994. Social identity and public order: political and academic discourses on football violence. In Football, Violence and Social Identity, ed. R. Giulianotti, et al., 9–37. London: Routledge.
Giulianotti, R. 1995. Football and the Politics of Carnival: An Ethnographic Study of Scottish Fans in Sweden. International Review for the Sociology of Sport 30 (2): 191–220.
Giulianotti, R. 1999. Hooligans and carnival fans: Scottish football supporter cultures. In Football Cultures and Identities, 29–40. Palgrave Macmillan, UK.
Giulianotti, R. 2011. Sport Mega Events, Urban Football Carnivals and Securitised Commodification: The Case of the English Premier League. Urban Studies 48 (15): 3293–3310.
Hird, C. and C. Ruparel. 2007. Seasonality in recorded crime. Technical Report no. 02/07. London, UK: Home Office.
House of Commons, Home Affairs Committee. 2009. The Cost of Policing Football Matches. London, UK. Tenth Report of Session 2008-09.
Kurland, J., S.D. Johnson, and N. Tilley. 2010. Late weekend kick-offs at premier football matches and their possible link to increased levels of alcohol-related ASB and disorder. London: Government Office for London.
Kurland, J., S.D. Johnson, and N. Tilley. 2014a. Offenses around Stadiums: A Natural Experiment on Crime Attraction and Generation. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency. 51 (1): 5–28.
Kurland, J., N. Tilley, and S.D. Johnson. 2014. The football ‘hotspot’matrix. In Football Hooliganism, Fan Behaviour and Crime, 21–48. Palgrave Macmillan, UK.
Leeds United Football Club v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police. 2014. 1 QB 168.
Marsh, P. 1988. Tribes. London: Pyramid.
McCord, E.S., and J.H. Ratcliffe. 2007. A micro-spatial analysis of the demographic and criminogenic environment of drug markets in Philadelphia. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology 40 (1): 43–63.
Mustaine, E.E., and R. Tewksbury. 1998. Predicting Risks of Larceny Theft Victimization: A Routine Activity Analysis Using Refined Lifestyle Measures. Criminology 36: 829–858.
North, B., D. Curtis, and P. Sham. 2002. A Note on the Calculation of Empirical P Values from Monte Carlo Procedures. American Journal of Human Genetics 71: 439.
Ratcliffe, J.H. 2004. The Hotspot Matrix: A Framework for the Spatio-Temporal Targeting of Crime Reduction. Police Practice and Research 5 (1): 5–23.
Roncek, D.W., and A. Lobosco. 1983. The Effects of High Schools on Crime in Their Neighborhoods. Social Science Quarterly 64: 598–613.
Rotten, J., D. Olszewski, M. Charleton, and E. Soler. 1978. Loud Speech, Conglomerate Noise and Behavioural After Effects. Journal of Applied Psychology 63: 360–365.
Russell, G.W. 2004. Sport Riots: A Social-Psychological Review. Aggression and Violent Behavior 9: 353–378.
Santos, R.B. 2009. Crime Analysis with Crime Mapping, 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Shortt, E. 1924. Report of the Departmental Committee on Crowds. London: Home Office. Crowds Committee, Stationery Off.
Simmons, J., C. Legg, and R. Hosking. 2003. National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS): An analysis of the impact on recorded crime Companion Volume to Crime in England and Wales 2002/2003. Report 32/03. London, UK: Home Office.
Smith, D. 2010. Guidance for Football Deployment and Cost Recovery, Association of Chief Police Officers of England. London: Wales and Northern Ireland.
Taylor, I. 1976. Spectator Violence Around Football: The Rise and Fall of the “Working Class Weekend”. Research Papers in Physical Education 4: 4–9.
Tompson, L., and K. Bowers. 2013. A Stab in the Dark? A Research Note on Temporal Patterns of Street Robbery. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 50 (4): 616–631.
Wilcox, P., and J.E. Eck. 2011. Criminology of the Unpopular: Implications for Policy Aimed at Payday Lending Facilities. Criminology and Public Policy 10 (2): 473–482.
About this article
Cite this article
Kurland, J., Tilley, N. & Johnson, S.D. Football pollution: an investigation of spatial and temporal patterns of crime in and around stadia in England. Secur J 31, 665–684 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41284-017-0123-0