With only four days to go until the opening ceremony of the final tournament of the UEFA EURO 2016, the City of London Police is launching a campaign called #RedCardtoCrime to tackle anti-social behaviour, online ticketing fraud and the sale of counterfeit goods.
The month long campaign warns people about different crimes types associated with the tournament by bringing together the expertise of the City of London Police, which is the national policing lead for fraud.
Action Fraud is warning members of the public about the risks of buying last minute tickets for the tournament as they are likely to be fraudulent. So far Action Fraud has received 35 reports of ticket fraud related to this year’s tournament. These reports are currently being assessed by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.
In 2015 online ticket fraud increased by 55% with major sporting events accounting for over a quarter of these offences.
The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) is coordinating the disruption of counterfeit websites selling fake UEFA products and associated branded sportswear. Since PIPCUs launch in September 2013 it has taken down over 10,000 counterfeit sites, of which the vast majority are sportswear related. With items such as footwear and clothing remaining as the most counterfeited goods, PIPCU is working closely with sports brands and internet registrars to identify infringing websites and protect online consumers.
In the City of London uniformed policing teams will be ensuring that everyone is able to support their team in a safe and fun environment. Officers will be offering support to licensed premises in an effort to minimise alcohol related disorder. We anticipate that the City of London will be an ideal location for those who want to watch matches after office hours, and plain clothes officers will be deployed to tackle thieves.
City of London Police Commissioner Ian Dyson QPM said: “We are launching our #RedCardtoCrime campaign in order to raise awareness of the range of crimes people may fall victim to in the run up to and during the tournament. We are providing people with useful tips to ensure their personal safety, whilst watching the games and purchasing tickets and merchandise online.
We want everyone to enjoy the games and we hope that our advice makes it one to remember for all the right reasons.”
A spokesperson for UEFA said: “UEFA would like to emphasize that secondary market ticket resale is strongly condemned by UEFA and we are working with lawyers and authorities to minimize its scale. We are constantly monitoring unauthorised resale channels and evaluating our legal grounds to take action. UEFA has been very active in trying to take down sites and are working with the police and other authorities to try and protect the public. We very much appreciate the efforts of the City of London Police and we will continue to work together for the benefit of the fans unaware of risks associated with the secondary market ticket resale.”
#RedCardtoCrime Tweets will be sent out throughout the campaign with crime prevention messages via @CityPolice @CityPoliceFraud and @CityPolicePIPCU
Further help and advice to help prevent you from becoming a victim of crime