Police cut bill in half after Vale protest

Police cut bill in half after Vale protest

Staffordshire police have cut the bill for the policing of the game against Wolves by almost 50% after Chairman Norman Smurthwaite challenged the amount charged.

This has been a highly complex situation and having taken into account all aspects of it, I’ve made the decision that the club only pays the costs originally stated by Staffordshire Police for the lower category game…

The police have reduced the original £20,509 amount to just £10,936 after Vale owner Smurthwaite argued that there was virtually no trouble inside Vale Park and other incidents took place well outside the stadium. Police made 34 arrests before, during and after the game.

Staffordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis said:  “I met with Mr Smurthwaite, as well as with senior Staffordshire Police officers, to discuss concerns raised about aspects of the way the game was policed and also the increased cost to the club of raising the match to a higher policing category.

“This has been a highly complex situation and having taken into account all aspects of it, I’ve made the decision that the club only pays the costs originally stated by Staffordshire Police for the lower category game.

“In addition, I have asked the Chief Constable to update procedures around the way contractual and financial arrangements for policing football matches are made.”

I was never happy about how the match fee was imposed. I believe the changes will be positive to the police, the club and the community…

Norman Smurthwaite added : “I thank Matthew Ellis for taking the opportunity to meet and look at both the issue of the Wolves game in isolation and the contribution that Port Vale make.

“I was never happy about how the match fee was imposed. I believe the changes will be positive to the police, the club and the community.”

In future, the police have agreed to provide written reasons for raising the risk level of a game, they also agreed to meet with club officials to discuss operational decisions after a match.

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