Tackling ticket crime - Olympic report on ticket crime released

Monday, 11 March, 2013

The Met Police has published its report "Ticket Crime: Problem Profile" as a result of learning by Operation Podium, the dedicated unit set up to tackle serious and organised economic crime affecting the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The report looks at three types of ticket crime (fraud, counterfeit and unauthorized ticket resellers), and sets out a number of recommendations on how this crime can be minimised through raising public awareness, closer collaboration with partners and industry.

Apart from the resale of football tickets for designated matches, the resale of tickets is not illegal. However, the report identifies the need for an open and transparent ticketing market underpinned by regulation and/or legislation, which will help consumers to understand who they are buying from and therefore better protect themselves against ticket crime.

Other recommendations include:

• Law enforcement to strengthen relationships with overseas website registrars and hosting companies in order to expedite website suspensions;

• Encouraging victims to report suspected offences to the authorities and agencies such as Action Fraud to ascertain a more accurate picture of the scale of this crime and take appropriate action;

• Industry needs to build relationships with search engine companies, website hosts/registrars and payments sector in order to prevent and mitigate ticket crime;

Established in June 2010, Operation Podium was created to combat organised crime affecting the Olympic Economy. Ticket crime was identified early on as a top priority, due to the anticipated high level of demand for tickets for the Games.

Operation Podium worked closely with London 2012 and a range of partners across the ticketing industry and payment services, as well as law enforcement colleagues across the UK and internationally, to employ a range of innovative tactics to target touts and other criminals involved in ticket crime in the lead up to and during the Games. This included the suspension of unauthorised or fraudulent websites, in partnership with the payment services, removal of merchant facilities, sharing of data with law enforcement partners to disrupt activity and raising awareness of ticketing crime through the media and partner agencies.

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