A partnership which includes the Metropolitan Police, Merton and Wandsworth councils and the Lawn Tennis Association is promising action to tackle touts selling tickets at this year’s Wimbledon tennis championships.
The agencies are looking to improve on last year’s successful implementation of a dispersal zone around The All England Lawn Tennis Club which they say led to a 97% decrease in the number of stolen and forged tickets sold.
Wandsworth Council’s community safety spokesman Cllr James Cousins said the council “are confident that this year’s initiative will build on the great success of the first zone.”
The Police are able to take action against the touts using powers under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003. Anyone suspected by police of ticket touting can be ordered to leave the zone and not return for 24 hours. Those who refuse to comply can be arrested and officers warn that anyone caught selling tickets faces immediate arrest.
Superintendent Graeme Thomson of Merton Police said: “We are working hard to make sure this year we reduce the levels of ticket touting and eliminate the sale of any forged or stolen tickets.”
Police say they have written to known touts advising them to stay away from the area for the duration of the championships.
Cllr Henry Nelless, Merton Council’s cabinet member for community safety and engagement, said the partnership “are committed to putting residents and visitors first and this means ensuring the tennis championships are a safe, crime-free event that everyone enjoys.”