Coventry & Warwickshire

London 2012: Police target ticket touts ahead of Olympic football in Coventry

Ricoh Arena
Image caption The Ricoh Arena is to be called the City of Coventry Stadium during the Games

West Midlands Police (WMP) has stepped up its preparations for this summer's Olympic Games by targeting ticket touts at a number of sporting events.

Coventry's Ricoh Arena, to be renamed the City of Coventry Stadium, will host 12 Olympic football matches.

Police arrested two men on suspicion of touting prior to Sunday's Premier League game at Molineux, Wolverhampton.

Officers will go undercover at more football matches as well as other sporting venues ahead of the Olympics.

Det Sgt Jonathan Jones, from the WMP economic crime team, said ticket touting can be linked to football violence and disorder within stadiums.

'Organised crime'

He said: "Touting takes away the controlled element from ticket distribution.

"Ticketing issues are a potential risk for the Olympic Games; it's important we send out a strong message that touting and ticketing fraud will not be tolerated and that offenders can expect to be punished.

"Our taskforce has been working closely with Met Police counterparts recently.

"We joined them during clampdowns on Six Nations ticket touts, plus officers will also be undercover at other high-profile events like the Grand National, Wimbledon, cricket matches, plus more regional football games."

"Much ticket touting is also linked to crime networks so buying from touts is only supporting organised crime," he added.

"Ultimately we want to ensure the Olympic football programme in Coventry passes off peacefully and that all spectators witness a safe, enjoyable match-day experience."

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