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Chelsea FC No Tout Zone Extended

Mon 22nd Apr 2013 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

Since October last year anyone suspected of touting tickets around Chelsea Football Club’s (CFC) Stamford Bridge home have been ordered to leave and not return for 24 hours.

Any tout who returns before that deadline, or is caught selling a ticket, is arrested.

81 dispersal notices have been issued by Police and ten arrests made, in the 20 home fixtures since the zone began.

The initial six month dispersal order was due to expire this Sunday (April 28). But, with the blues hosting several high-profile Premier League games in May – including against Tottenham and Everton in the battle for a Champion’s League place, the local council and the police have agreed to extend the zone.

Some touts are still causing issues in the area and the authorities believe the zone is an important tool to deal with these problems and prevent more touts being attracted to the area.

Before the zone was introduced residents and fans had complained about aggressive touts following people along the street. It was common for scores of touts to harass and intimidate passers-by in the run up to home games.

CFC’s success in recent years, including winning the Champions League last season, has led touts to try to cash in on the high demand for the biggest games. Desperate fans are often lured into paying over the odds for forged or stolen tickets and 22 of CFC’s 30 home games last season suffered significant problems caused by ticket touts, according to the Police.

“Touting can lead to a breakdown in the segregation between home and away supporters inside the ground - triggering security problems for stewards and Police,” says Cllr Greg Smith, H&F Council Deputy Leader.

“The threat of violence between rival groups of touts attempting to ply their trade also raises fear among law abiding residents.

“The dispersal zone has proved to be an effective tool in tackling the tout problem and residents don’t want us to encourage them back by relaxing the rules now.”

The zone extends 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. The dispersal zone will now operate until 19 May, 2013.

H&F Police Borough Commander, Chief Superintendent Lucy D'Orsi, said: “Ticket touts are part of organised criminal networks, often involved in other crimes.

“In Hammersmith & Fulham we are committed to working in partnership to dismantle them layer by layer using all the tools available.”

Posted by: Aaron Gourley

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