Suffolk

Police may have to 'repay' Ipswich Town Football Club

Portman Road
Image caption The club argued that the police unlawfully charged Ipswich Town for match day policing outside Portman Road

Ipswich Town Football Club has won the latest round in a battle over the cost of policing matches.

The club claimed Suffolk Police "unlawfully" charged for keeping order on the streets around the ground.

But the High Court said police were entitled to recover costs for officers in Portman Road and Sir Alf Ramsey Way.

The High Court has now found that officers charged for policing too large an area.

Mr Justice Green ruled that the club was entitled to the return of any money it overpaid.

Image caption Mr Justice Green ruled that the club was entitled to the return of any money it overpaid

'Mistake of law'

He found that the club should only pay for policing in the streets which were home to 40 turnstiles for the club's ground and subject to a traffic control order on match days.

The force had "no lawful power" to demand payment for carrying out policing in the wider area and the club had paid up under "a mistake of law".

Suffolk Police had "no defences available" to the club's claim to be put back in the position it would have been in had the mistaken payments never been made, said Mr Justice Green.

He said the club's payout would be calculated on the basis that the sums it paid for policing "constituted fair market prices".

The judge said he hoped the club and the force would now reach a final settlement of the dispute in the light of his rulings.

However, if the amount due to the club cannot be agreed, the case will return to court for another hearing.

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