Force told ‘no appeal’ in football costs court battle

Suffolk Constabulary has been told it cannot appeal a court ruling that could force it to pay up to £500,000 to a football club.

Feb 5, 2018

Suffolk Constabulary has been told it cannot appeal a court ruling that could force it to pay up to £500,000 to a football club. The Supreme Court decision means the force remains responsible for policing costs on the two roads outside Ipswich Town Football Club’s (ITFC) main turnstiles. Around £500,000 worth of expenses is at stake in the legal battle between Suffolk Constabulary and ITFC, incurred on match days between 2008 and 2013. The verdict comes two years after the High Court originally found in Suffolk Constabulary’s favour. In 2016, the force was told it was entitled to recover costs for policing duties carried out on Portman Road and Sir Alf Ramsey Way on match days. However, last October the Court of Appeal reversed this ruling after finding the first judge misdirected himself on the law. The court found the roads in question were publicly owned and were not “owned, leased or controlled” by the club. Suffolk Constabulary asked the Supreme Court whether it could appeal the ruling, but was told it has no grounds to do so. Judges claimed the case “doesn’t raise an arguable point of law”. Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore said: “We are disappointed with the outcome of this decision from the Supreme Court. “We will now take some time to consider the implications for the force and once they have been fully assessed in due course we will be in a position to comment further.” A spokesperson for ITFC said: “We are pleased that the matter is closed and that we continue to have a good working relationship with Suffolk Police.”

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