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Ticket Touting

Tickets sold for sports, music and theatre events via unauthorised websites cost on average 71pc more than the face value of the ticket, according to research from G4S Security Services (UK).

The UK events security firm warns that throughout the festival season, music fans will typically have to pay £72 more for tickets bought in the secondary market of online auction sites. Sports fans and theatre goers face potential price hikes of 73 per cent and 131pc respectively if they opt to purchase tickets via the secondary market. <br><br>Despite these websites promoting themselves as offering bargains, analysis by G4S shows that consumers using them often pay significantly higher prices than those who purchase tickets through legitimate outlets. <br><br>The research by G4S reveals that music fans hoping to attend the Reading Festival this weekend now face ticket price hikes of up to 250pc. Weekend camping tickets to the event have a face value of &#163;155 but on some secondary ticket websites they can be found being sold at prices in excess of &#163;530. <br><br>G4S is warning consumers who are contemplating purchasing tickets from unauthorised sources to check they are not fraudulent. <br><br>Mark Hamilton, Managing Director of G4S Events, said: “The issue of the secondary ticket market is clearly of great concern, with the Government earlier this year reporting that online operators needed to “clean up their act”. <br><br>“Purchasing tickets from unauthorised outlets really isn’t in the consumers’ best interests. Tickets bought in this way are likely to be highly over-priced and could even be fraudulent. There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that ticket touting left unchallenged may increase the risk of criminal activity and threaten the security of the event as a whole.” <br><br>Glastonbury saw a marked reduction in crime last year after the introduction of online registration, designed to combat ticket touts. The research carried out by G4S found no evidence of tickets being touted for Glastonbury whereas they were easily available for others such as Reading. <br><br>Mark Hamilton added: “Despite a lack of any legislation, the secondary market does seem to be evolving towards a more regulated approach. Certain websites, such as Viagogo, are starting to sign exclusive deals with performers and event organisers, positioning themselves as “official” ticket resellers. Tickets bought from these outlets are guaranteed which is obviously something we support but there are still a vast number of sites that won’t offer consumers such peace of mind.” <br><br>For further information on G4S Security Services (UK) visit www.g4s.com/uk-security<br><br>Some 63 crimes were booked on over the weekend of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.<br><br>This was a higher total than in previous years, say police, but the motorsport showpiece is still classed as a very low-crime event say Northants Police when you consider that more than 200,000 spectators passed through the Silverstone gates over the three days of the Formula 1 meeting.<br><br>The vast majority of crimes were thefts from the campsites – 40 thefts were reported, where thieves in the main slashed open tents to grab cash and valuables that were at hand.<br>Another 13 thefts were reported by people who were out and about and who were either pickpocketed or who had items stolen from unattended bags. The remaining ten crimes were booked on as public order offences and assaults. <br>Six arrests were made over the weekend including one person for stealing from trade stands, one for an assault on a security guard and one for being in possession of a bladed instrument. The other arrests were for public order offences.<br>Detective Constable Dave Adams, who was part of the crime operation at the British Grand Prix, said: “We did experience problems with criminals who had travelled down and took the opportunity to slash tents and steal valuables.<br>“But overall, the level of crime was again very low for a massive event because it is the equivalent of policing a small town.<br>“The crime figures compare very favourably to recent major events at Donington Park and Glastonbury, where a greater number of crimes were reported.<br>“We were focusing on the activities of the ticket touts and a lot of tickets were seized by stewards, especially on the day of the Grand Prix.<br>“We’d sent out letters to touts before the Grand Prix warning them to stay away as we would be on their case.<br>“Our Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) team stopped a Manchester tout who was coming up to Silverstone from an Iron Maiden concert in London.<br>“He said he’d received one of our letters but thought it was nothing more than empty words. As soon as he knew we meant business he quickly went on his way, without stopping at Silverstone!”<br><br>In June the Liberal Democrats complained that touts are selling a huge number of match tickets online before they have been released.<br><br>It is meant to be illegal to tout football tickets, but an investigation by the Liberal Democrats has revealed that touts are getting round the law by offering tickets for sale on websites hosted overseas. Such online sales are outside UK jurisdiction. <br><br>Commenting, Liberal Democrat Culture, Media and Sport spokesman, Don Foster said: &quot;Despite numerous promises, it is quite clear the Government is not doing enough to tackle this problem. It is unbelievable that tickets that don’t yet exist are being sold on the black market at hugely inflated prices.<br><br>&quot;Legislation is needed to close this loophole but we also need to make the public aware of the risks involved in buying tickets from dodgy overseas websites that often leave fans high and dry when they fail to deliver.<br><br>&quot;For too long, too little has been done to clamp down on the touts. The police have admitted ticket touting isn’t their priority and the Government’s lack of action has proved that it’s clearly not theirs either.&quot; <br><br>Touts are a common sight outside sporting venues and oft ignored by the authorities – for instance outside the Trent Bridge circket ground for the last day of the England-NZ Test in June, a tout offered tickets on the pavement a stone’s throw between police and a separate group of contract event stewards.


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