London football matches cost Met £2m a year to police
The Metropolitan Police should be given the power to recover all costs from policing football matches. I have discovered new figures which show the force spent almost two million pounds policing top-flight football matches in the capital last year.
Despite facing budget cuts of 20% the Metropolitan Police was forced to spend an estimated £1,917,030 providing policing services for football matches.
Whilst costs for police officers based inside stadiums and on their grounds can be charged to the clubs the wider police presence required outside the stadium has to be covered by the police alone. There is currently no legal right to recover the costs of these services from the clubs themselves.
With the Met facing significant further cuts in coming years I am calling for the Home Secretary to change the law to allow police forces to recover the full costs of policing top flight games from the clubs.
With the Met facing deep cuts to their budgets and police officers facing the axe, it’s high time that clubs cover the full cost of policing their games.
If top-flight clubs can afford to pay players hundreds of thousands of pounds a week, they can afford to cover the full cost of policing their games instead of expecting the tax payer to fork out millions to police money-making matches.
This is one case where the goalposts do need to be moved and it’s down to the Home Secretary to level the playing field and make sure clubs are properly contributing to the cost of keeping their fans safe.
My question to the Mayor:
Policing Football Matches
Question No: 2015/2272
What is the best estimate of the cost to the Met of policing outside the ‘footprint’ of land owned, leased or controlled by the football clubs?
Written answer from the Mayor
Like all police forces, the MPS supports private sports clubs who hold events under the SPS agreement where additional policing is required on those match days for land owned, leased or controlled by the club. Under present law, the MPS is not able to recover costs for any additional policing outside this ‘footprint’.
The estimated extra cost to the MPS in 2014/15 in respect of the extra policing for football matches outside the stadia for which no recovery is currently possible is calculated to be £1,917,030