Police call for tighter ticket sale controls

Regulation and new laws are needed to fight the increasing problem of ticket crime.

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This is according to the Metropolitan Police in Ticket Crime: Problem Profile, the findings of learning from experiences gained during Operation Podium.

The key issue is fraud, followed by counterfeiting and touting. Ticket fraud costs in the region of £40 million per year.

Reselling tickets is not illegal (apart from football tickets), but the Met has called for tighter controls on ticket crime following London 2012. The report recommends a transparent ticketing market supported by either regulation or legislation … or both. It also highlights the need for the police and other authorities to gain a more accurate picture of the scale of ticket crime and the action required to stem it. This can be done only if victims report suspected offences. Search engines, web hosting and registration companies and the payments industry should also be engaged with more closely, it says.

Operation Podium is headed by Detective Superintendent Nick Downing. "Experience shows that fraud is the most prevalent form of ticket crime and causes the greatest harm – conservatively estimated at £40 million per year," says Downing. "Criminals involved in this are also highly likely to be involved in other crimes. We also know that it is extremely under reported, and there is a lack of public awareness and understanding which means that people find it difficult to distinguish between an authorised, unauthorised or fraudulent website. For these reasons it is important that ticket crime is properly tackled and the awareness is raised on how the public can take steps to protect themselves from becoming a victim of these crimes."

Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) spokesman Jonathan Brown commented: "This industry has never before benefited from such concentrated work to help uncover criminality and fraud which continue to cause detriment to the ticket buying public. We are grateful for the support from Operation Podium during the launch of STAR's kite mark for identifying authorised ticket sellers in 2011."

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