Spurs caught up in row over £17.5 million policing bill

Spurs caught up in row over £17.5 million policing bill

Spurs caught up in row over £17.5 million policing bill

First published in News
Last updated
by , Reporter

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club is caught up in a London-wide row with the Met over the cost of policing football matches.

The Metropolitan Police says policing football matches in London cost around £17.5 million over the last three seasons, but the force has only recovered around £7.5 million from the football clubs.

The police now wants clubs to agree to pay for all match-day work done by officers, who it argues should be policing their communities.

Peter Terry, from the Specialist Crime and Operations Division of the Met, said officers had been in talks with London clubs over the costs of match-day policing for the past year.

He said: “The Metropolitan Police Service has been trying to get London football clubs to sign the Special Police Services Agreement which was drawn up to ensure football clubs bear the cost and any liability incurred for officers provided to police their football matches.

“This follows a lengthy process of engagement with the clubs to discuss our position and give them ample opportunity to raise any concerns they might have.

“Some clubs have already signed up to the agreement, however a large number have not yet signed and the new football season is fast approaching.”

He added: “Historically, officers from across London have been taken out of their boroughs to support policing at football matches, often many miles away from their local communities.

“Those officers would be better placed within their own wards and neighbourhoods to support local policing needs.”

A spokesman for Haringey Council confirmed that chief executive Nick Walkley had been to Scotland Yard with his Islington counterpart to discuss match day policing of Spurs and Arsenal matches, but added that match-day policing was primarily a matter for the Met Police.

A spokesman for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club said the dispute was being dealt with centrally by the Premier League.

The Premier League declined to comment.

Haringey Police confirmed that its match-day policing agreement with Spurs was currently under review, but said it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.

Councillor Martin Newton, Liberal Democrat communities spokesman, said: "It is only right that big clubs like Spurs pay their fair share of the cost of policing football matches.

"However, I am concerned that nobody seems to be clear about when this dispute between the police and football clubs will end. They must resolve this issue quickly.

"All major events like premier league football matches, must be safe and properly policed. Anything that gets in the way of that needs to be dealt with swiftly by the police, Labour Council and Spurs."

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