Attention: Please take a moment to consider our terms and conditions before posting.

Leeds win football policing costs dispute

Interesting article on the BBC newssite - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-18965193

Leeds United has won its High Court action against West Yorkshire Police over who should pay for policing around the stadium on match days. The club had argued policing streets and car parks near its Elland Road ground was the force's responsibility whilst the police had said it wasn't their responsibility, and had charged leeds to police those areas.

In his ruling Mr Justice Eady agreed these were not special police services and said the force must repay the club.

Hopefully will create a precedent and stop all forces from charging for the officers they provide outside the ground. But I wonder what would happen if the police now refuse to provide officers to provide cover outside the ground?

Comments

  • The more important case was lost last year. Wigan took Greater Manchester Police to court over policing charges. When they got promoted to the premiership their policing costs quadrupled, despite average attendances barely increasing. Wigan lost the case, despite it looking like a clear cut case of profiteering by the police, their costs had increased by 10% at most, yet they knew that Wigan were now pulling in premiership money and increased their charges based on that fact.
  • Hmmm not sure what I think about this one. The fact of it is that the police incur considerable direct costs as a result of the clubs business and in times where budgets are being slashed this is likely to lead to mimimal and therefore potentially dangerously low levels of policing outside the ground. On the other hand the clubs, residents, fans attending do pay business rates, council tax, etc and therefore are entitled to adequate policing to enable them to follow their team in safety.
  • I think the big issue is that the police don't charge any other events for policing outside of those events, e.g. West Yorkshire police aren't charging Yorkshire CCC for policing outside of the ground when England play at Headingly, similarly, the various music festivals don't pay for policing outside of the venues. It has to be consistent. Either every event's policing charges include costs for policing the surrounding areas, or none do.
  • they'll have to get the G4S reserve in instead, or the army as it's also called.
  • I think the big issue is that the police don't charge any other events for policing outside of those events, e.g. West Yorkshire police aren't charging Yorkshire CCC for policing outside of the ground when England play at Headingly, similarly, the various music festivals don't pay for policing outside of the venues. It has to be consistent. Either every event's policing charges include costs for policing the surrounding areas, or none do.

    I'm not sure that it's a reasonable comparison though. Like it or not there is a significantly higher policing need and therefore cost involved in policing 25 home matches a year than say one test match and a few one dayers. The money for it will have to come from somewhere won't it, which in effect means more cuts to the service or an increase in local taxes. Maybe it's fairer that the cause of that increased need should stump up?
  • How about music festivals then? At 25 leeds games there'll be a couple of minor punch-ups and very little else these days. At any sizable music festival there will be drug dealing, petty theft, probably as many punch-ups as at leeds in a season, plus potential for a whole host of other crimes. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for some form of consistency. If the police want to say leeds costs them far more, then fair enough, have a sliding scale. But nobody else is asked to take on these costs that football is expected to swallow, so why should football pay what other don't/won't?
  • Is the policing at pary polital conferences paid for by the party involved?
  • What about pubs on the high street? They don't pay for policing the streets when they had served alcohol to those who then fight, or injure themselves, or smash things up.

    Half the time the police have turned up en-masse at games for no apparent reason. Wycombe at home the other year had a huge police presence outside. Why?

    They aren't held to account and if they could get paid directly by clubs they would fleece them.

    "Oh, we've heard 300 Yeovil are turning up in Charlton at 8am to battle the famous B-Mob, we need 150 officers on duty, that'll be £30,000 please CAFC"

    "Er, what intelligence is that based on officer"?

    "We can't reveal our sources, cough up £30k or we'll revoke your safety licence"
  • What about pubs on the high street? They don't pay for policing the streets when they had served alcohol to those who then fight, or injure themselves, or smash things up.

    Half the time the police have turned up en-masse at games for no apparent reason. Wycombe at home the other year had a huge police presence outside. Why?

    They aren't held to account and if they could get paid directly by clubs they would fleece them.

    "Oh, we've heard 300 Yeovil are turning up in Charlton at 8am to battle the famous B-Mob, we need 150 officers on duty, that'll be £30,000 please CAFC"

    "Er, what intelligence is that based on officer"?

    "We can't reveal our sources, cough up £30k or we'll revoke your safety licence"

    all mouth Yeovil, I turned up with my flask at 07:58 (not known for our tardiness) and only 3 showed up...melts the lot of em

  • Okay, without turning this into another anti-police thread please folks, here's a few other factors to consider before we all start celebrating and planning to spend the money saved on Messi:

    It's highly likely to be appealled anyway.
    There is a planned levy in the autumn on bars/clubs etc to pay for policing the night time economy.
    The police have the powers to close pubs temporarily if they feel there's a risk of public disorder, which may be a cheaper way of dispersing potential trouble at matches...and they have to be looking to save money as a result of this decision believe me.
    All grounds are licensed and if there's an increase in alcohol related trouble outside as a result of there being fewer coppers about they could call for a review, result = club loses alcohol sales.

    As stated, I can see both sides of the coin on this one and whilst it might seem on paper a good thing there are the laws of unintended consequences to take into account.
  • Sponsored links:


  • But trouble rarely happens within the vicinity of the ground. If you lot have a row with Palace fans outside the Kings Head in Borough, do they send the bill to CAFC?

    It's a very complex issue and one that both sides will try to take advantage of.
  • But trouble rarely happens within the vicinity of the ground...

    That's the case now but what happens when only half the usual police numbers are available?
  • Charlton have a gentlemans agreement with the local Met police that works well for both parties. We pay for additional Police, when required, to cover the area around the away end up to the top of Floyd Road. The amount of officers required is agreed before hand and Charlton are happy to pay for additional Officers as and when they are required.

    The Police are sensible about it as they talk regularly with the Club. The Club in return are sensible about the amount of Stewards it employs and the necessary training they have.

    Thankfully there is very little trouble around The Valley from either home or away fans - though there will obviously be some more high profile games this season.

    It hasn't always been like this, but it all depends on what the Area Commander is like - and our current one is obviously a sensible guy.
  • Sounds like having a good relationship with the Police and both sides being realistic and sensible is the way forwards.
  • But trouble rarely happens within the vicinity of the ground...

    That's the case now but what happens when only half the usual police numbers are available?
    Depends on the team, the fixture, the time, how many they bring & most importantly how the police allocate their sparse resources.

  • @Addickted - but in the current circumstances how long will our "gentlemans agreement" last ?

    It seems clear that the club pays for policing on private property, the cost of policing in public areas is at the expense of the force. The alternative is setting a very dangerous precedent, which the Wigan case shows the police may try and exploit.
  • se9addick said:

    @Addickted - but in the current circumstances how long will our "gentlemans agreement" last ?

    It seems clear that the club pays for policing on private property, the cost of policing in public areas is at the expense of the force. The alternative is setting a very dangerous precedent, which the Wigan case shows the police may try and exploit.

    I really don't buy this police are out to make a profit argument. In fact I'm pretty sure that the police are statute barred from doing so.

    Wigan did NOT win the case as stated i.e it was NOT a "clear cut case of profiteering" and the court must have found the increase in cost justifiable. Maybe, Wigan had been undercharged until that point? Maybe promotion meant more higher category games for example? Maybe their licensing conditions required increased policing? And their gates must have gone up...
  • se9addick said:

    @Addickted - but in the current circumstances how long will our "gentlemans agreement" last ?

    It seems clear that the club pays for policing on private property, the cost of policing in public areas is at the expense of the force. The alternative is setting a very dangerous precedent, which the Wigan case shows the police may try and exploit.

    I really don't buy this police are out to make a profit argument. In fact I'm pretty sure that the police are statute barred from doing so.

    Wigan did NOT win the case as stated i.e it was NOT a "clear cut case of profiteering" and the court must have found the increase in cost justifiable. Maybe, Wigan had been undercharged until that point? Maybe promotion meant more higher category games for example? Maybe their licensing conditions required increased policing? And their gates must have gone up...
    Certainly their away attendances must have gone up!
  • se9addick said:

    @Addickted - but in the current circumstances how long will our "gentlemans agreement" last ?

    It seems clear that the club pays for policing on private property, the cost of policing in public areas is at the expense of the force. The alternative is setting a very dangerous precedent, which the Wigan case shows the police may try and exploit.

    I really don't buy this police are out to make a profit argument. In fact I'm pretty sure that the police are statute barred from doing so.

    Wigan did NOT win the case as stated i.e it was NOT a "clear cut case of profiteering" and the court must have found the increase in cost justifiable. Maybe, Wigan had been undercharged until that point? Maybe promotion meant more higher category games for example? Maybe their licensing conditions required increased policing? And their gates must have gone up...
    It's not profiteering as such though is it, it's recouping money back for a service that's already been paid for out of the taxpayers wallet.

  • Perhaps those things that need policing outside football matches, would just occur elsewhere if it wasn't for football. Maybe football actually make things easier to police by bringing all the hoolies together at one place and at one time. I reckon that the cops should pay the clubs a subsidy for making their life easier ;-)
Sign In or Register to comment.

Roland Out!