London 2012: Police warning after arrests of men on suspicion of ticket touting

13:00 06 May 2012

Police have issued a warning to ticket touts following the arrests of eight people suspected of touting.

The group were arrested near Wembley Stadium before the kick-off of yesterday’s FA Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool.

The eight men - aged 45, 36, 25, 37, 39, 33, 28 and 22 - were all taken into custody on suspicion of ticket touting under S166 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act.

They were arrested under Operation Podium, a dedicated team within the Met Police’s specialist crime and operations directorate whose remit is to prevent and investigate a range of serious and organised crime affecting the Olympic economy.

Podium was created based on experience from previous Games around the world, major concerts and sporting events that has shown the range of crimes that criminals may be planning to carry out involving London 2012.

Following the arrests yesterday, James Brokenshire, minister for crime and security, said: “We are determined that ticket touts won’t spoil anyone’s enjoyment of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“That’s why we’ve increased the fine for touting Olympic tickets from £5,000 to £20,000. My clear message to the touts is that you’re not welcome and if you take the risk you will be caught.”

Fans were also advised to be careful when they purchased tickets. Det Supt Nick Downing from Operation Podium said: “Ticket touting is an illegal business run by people to gain financially through the exploitation of clubs and their fans.

“Genuine fans need to be aware they are not only fuelling criminal activity when they buy from a tout, but also putting themselves at risk as they could find themselves amongst opposing supporters.

“If you buy tickets from unofficial places, you run the risk of paying over the odds for a non-existent ticket, ending up disappointed by not getting to see the game that you paid for, and risk having your personal and credit card details stolen for use in other crimes.

“Don’t let this happen to you. Only visit official sites for a list of genuine sellers who are authorised to sell legitimate tickets.”

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