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Policing outside football stadia - club not liable26 July 2012
Leeds United have won their High Court action over who should pay for policing of matches at their
The litigation involved policing in the extended footprint of land around the stadium which is not owned or leased by the Club, including streets and car parks. The Club claimed this fell within the scope of a constable’s normal common law obligations to maintain public order.
Mr Justice Eady, said those services could not be classified as special Police services and the Club, should be repaid.
In his judgment (full version avaliable here) he concluded that the services rendered fell within the normal constabulary duty to keep the peace.
“More generally, it seems wrong to discount the majority of well-behaved fans who come to
In any event, I consider that there would be insuperable difficulties in seeking to sub-divide people, in public highways and other spaces, when trying to assess to whose benefit such duties were carried out.
They are intended to keep the Queen’s peace in the interests of the general public.”
He said he appreciated that his decision was unfortunate not only for West Yorkshire Police but also for the public purse.
If the Government should wish to extend the scope of special Police services in such circumstances so as to ensure recoupment of Police costs then legislation would be required.
He did not accept that his ruling would have the profound effect that Police Officers would not be able to charge for services rendered for cycle races on public roads or by escorting articulated lorries. It will be interesting to note the knock on effect in relation to events including music festivals and large public gatherings as well as other sporting events.
"The situations are not comparable. Police officers performing such duties are not there, normally, for the purpose of preventing public disorder or crimes of violence."