Anyone suspected of touting tickets within half a mile of Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge will be ordered to leave the area.
Ticket touts are facing a crackdown on their operations as Hammersmith & Fulham Council today announced the UK’s first match-day exclusion zone.
Anyone suspected of touting tickets within half a mile of Stamford Bridge, Chelsea FC’s home, will be ordered to leave the area and not return for 24 hours.
Any tout who does return before then, or is caught selling a ticket, will face arrest.
The scheme, goes live on October 28, when Manchester United travel to Stamford Bridge, and will remain in place for the rest of the season.
At first the scheme will only focus on Chelsea but if successful there are plans to widen it to include H&F’s other clubs, Fulham and Queens Park Rangers.
Councillor Greg Smith, H&F Council Deputy Leader, said: “Touts prey on fans enthusiasm for their teams by using aggressive and underhand tactics to flog dodgy tickets at vastly inflated prices.
“The message is clear – tout and your out.”
Hammersmith and Fulham is the only borough in Britain with three top-flight teams and consequently ticket touting is a major issue.
Touting can lead to breakdown in stadium segregation plans with home and away fans being mixed together, creating security issues for both stewards and police.
An increased risk of violence between football fans also presents a significant risk to local residents and businesses.
H&F Police Borough Commander, Chief Superintendent Lucy D’Orsi, added: “Ticket touts are part of organised criminal networks, often involved in other crimes.”
She pledged her and her forces full support to dismantling these organisations.
The half-mile exclusion zone runs from Lillie Road in the north to New Kings Road in the south and from Munster Road in the west to the borough boundary in the east.
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