The UK government won’t release a damning report on ticket fraud because its findings are “too sensitive,” according to the Daily Mirror.
Andrew Penman and Nick Sommerlad from the paper's investigations team reckon it’s embarrassing to politicians and police because it shows they’ve left criminals free to make £40 million per year from ticket fraud.
It would be more embarrassing for the government if, as the Mirror and other UK newspapers have suggested, the report actually advocates for regulation of the secondary market, due to the involvement of organised criminal networks and the fact that it breeds corruption within the live event industry.
“It reinforces the view that fans are being ripped on a massive scale, and that the industry wouldn’t be able to tackle it without legislation,” the Mirror explained.
Labour MP Sharon Hodgson, who has been campaigning for legislation to regulate touts, was turned down when she asked the Home Office and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to put copies of the report they’d received from Operation Podium in the House of Commons Library.
A month ago the Mirror said the report from Operation Podium, which was set up to stop ticket touts hawking seats for the Olympic Games, showed concern that there would be a “policing void” when it was shut down.
So, now that the Games are over, the UK government has no more interest in what happens on the secondary market?
Or, as the Mirror put it, “Is the government trying to shelve a damning police report which slams politicians and 'disinterested' police officers for failing to crack down on rampant ticket crime?”
The government holding back the information isn’t good news for Hodgson or for her Conservative Party ally Mike Weatherley, who has been trying to get a meeting with Maria Miller, the new minster at the DCMS, to see if there’s been any change in the government’s position in the six months or so since she took over.
“I highly doubt this will be the case,” is the less than optimistic view from Hodgson’s office.