Ticket touting at The Grand National Aintree has been identified as an issue, with both Merseyside Police and The Jockey Club expressing concerns regarding the activities and number of touts present during the three days of the race meeting. Such activity can result in intimidation, harassment, alarm or distress to members of the public. Evidence provided by Merseyside Police, indicates a significant (three-fold) increase in the number of touts operating during the Grand National Race Meeting over the past 4 years.
The order makes it an offence in the protected area (shaded) during the period of the Grand national event to; offer to sell; expose for sale; make available for sale; advertise that tickets are available to purchase and or give tickets to a person who pays or agrees to pay for some other goods. It also allows an authorised officer to require any individual or member of a group to disperse, leave the protected area and not return for up to a maximum of twenty-four hours.
The Order protects the public from anti-social behaviour arising from ticket touting during the Grand National on the basis that the activity is having or is likely to have a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality.
A PSPO under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime & Policing Act 2014 can be used were the behaviour is persistent and unreasonable.
PSPOs last for a varying degree of time up to 3 years once approved and are enforced by delegated council officers, police officers and police community support officers. At the end of this period the order can be amended or extended for a further period of up to 3 years. A breach of the order is a criminal offence and can be dealt with through the issue of a fixed penalty notice (£75) or a fine of up to £1000 on prosecution
The order came into force on the 28th March 2019 and, subject to appropriate review, remains in force for any subsequent Grand National Meetings whilst the PSPO remains in force.
What are the changes?
The effect of the Order is to impose the following conditions on the use of the protected area during the Grand National Horse Racing Meeting, Aintree:
Any person, other than the official organiser of any of the restricted events, who
i. Offers to sell tickets for any restricted event;
ii. Exposes for sale tickets for any restricted event;
iii. Makes available for sale by another tickets for any restricted event;
iv. Advertises that tickets for any restricted event are available for purchase; and / or
v. Gives tickets for any restricted event to a person who pays or agrees to pay for some other goods or services or offering to do so commits an offence.
All persons within the Protected Area are not to behave either individually or in a group of two or more people in a manner that has resulted in or is likely to result in any member of the public being intimidated, harassed, alarmed or distressed by that behaviour.
a. In this area, any person who continues to carryout activities from which they are prohibited commits an offence.
b. If any person is deemed to breach this provision of the Order, an authorised officer May:
i. Order any individual or all members of a group to disperse;
ii. Order any individual or all members of a group top disperse and leave the protected area if they live outside of it;
iii. Order any individual or all members of a group to disperse and leave the protected area if they live outside of it and not return until a specified time. The specified time will not exceed 24 hours.
c. For those persons who live within the protected area the authorised officer may order any individual or all members of a group to disperse.