Legal cases could allow Vale to dispute police bills in court

Legal cases could allow Vale to dispute police bills in court

OVF Editor Rob Fielding believes that there is no excuse for excessive policing charges and that recent court cases could open the way for Vale to take legal action if there is any evidence of such behaviour.

Rob Fielding writes…

I read with interest that Ipswich Town are the second Football League club to take their local constabulary to court.

They claim the force should not have demanded payment for policing the public areas surrounding the ground…

According to a BBC report: “Ipswich Town is suing police for more than £500,000 of “illegal charging” for match-day policing costs.

Suffolk Police was paid £511,869 for keeping order on the streets around Portman Road, the club’s owners said.

They claim the force should not have demanded payment for policing the public areas surrounding the ground between 2008 and 2013.”

Ipswich’s move follows that of Leeds United who successfully sued West Yorkshire Police for around £1m for policing costs over three seasons.  The court ruled that the club was not responsible for paying for policing streets and car parks near the ground

Both Port Vale FC and its fans have complained about excessive police charges in the past. It often seemed like the club had no way of arguing its case once the police had made up their minds about how a game should be policed.

Following this second landmark case, I hope that the police are aware that there are limitations to their matchday operations and that these “illegal” charges are now a relic of the past.

Now, rather than having no response, Port Vale can always consider following Ipswich’s and Leeds’ example.