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13th February 2013

Government Ministers cover up comprehensive report into ticketing in latest ticket scandal

Politicians are withholding the damming Operation podium report from the public, begging the question, what have they got to hide?

Perhaps the Home Office Minister James ­Brokenshire could tell us why Operation Podium's ticketing report is being hushed up? Though he doesn't seem forthcoming in answering our requests.

Ticketing issues have come to the fore once again as we learn that Operation Podium have written and submitted a comprehensive report following their work into ticketing in the UK. Safeconcerts have been reliably informed that there are two versions of this report doing the rounds, the 'no holds barred' version and a 'sanitised version'. The report was marked 'suitable for publication' and has been sent to various people in the industry although we are unsure which version of the report has been sent out to the elite few.

We have now learned that the report is being withheld by Sports Minister Hugh Robertson and Home Office Minister James ­Brokenshire. It is alleged that Sharon Hodgkinson has asked for a copy of the report and has been told that it  "contains sensitive information which cannot be published". For some reason politicians are very keen to talk about the spirit of openness and accountability but when push comes to shove it appears that some are more than ready and willing to hide behind whatever excuse they can lay their hands on in order to stop the general public knowing the truth about their involvement or otherwise in matters that are very much in the public interest. The great ticket scandal is a subject that is very much in the public interest given that estimates tell us that the ticket racket is worth at least 40 to 60 million pounds. You know all those 'chargebacks' victims are able to claim when they don't get their tickets? Who do you think ultimately pays for that?

Safeconcerts have been told by a reliable source that the report into ticketing is both damning and highly critical on many levels, it accuses both politicians and the police of turning a blind eye to the problem, ultimately leaving the ticket buying public unprotected from the criminal rackets that are rife within the ticketing industry.

Operation Podium had been the first official police unit with a brief to work in this specific area, however, it was only set up to combat the touts and criminals seeking to make a quick killing during the Olympic Games; now that the games have finished the unit is set to be disbanded.

The team at Operation Podium have had a measure of success in bringing some of the criminals to book and in the course of their work have uncovered what we at Safeconcerts have been telling you for years, the level of corruption and criminality within the ticket business is rife and that ticket fraud is worth millions to those involved. We are not talking small change here, there is a multi million pound racket going on that is being condoned by those in the know.

There have been a number of prosecutions and many exposés. Dispatches in February 2012 showed quite clearly the hidden problems within the secondary market and the dubious practices being used to obtain tickets whilst the big companies sell themselves as 'fan to fan' websites.

Botnets were exposed in December 2012. Botnets are automatic ticket buying robots (it's just a name for software, nothing as exciting as a real robot) that can purchase hundreds of tickets in a matter of minutes. These botnets are used by people like eBay Power Sellers and touts to trawl the ticket sites and buy up tickets for major events at face value in the blink of an eye.

Here at Safeconcerts we have been campaigning against ticket fraud and ticket touts for several years. When we began our campaign victims of ticket fraud were unable to persuade the police to accept their reports of criminal offences, but this began to change slowly once Operation Podium came into force. Despite Operation Podium, and the level of success they have achieved, the 'secondary ticketing market' has continued to thrive and grow largely unchallenged, leaving the ordinary ticket buyer totally unprotected and at the mercy of the touts and criminals that inhabit this murky world.

Why are the government hushing up Operation Podium's report into ticketing? What is going on behind the scenes? Are backdoor deals being done? Why are the ticket buying public being left unprotected and, worse than that, why are the ticket buying public being prevented from having access to Operation Podium's report into ticketing?

The real question is: just what are these government ministers covering up?

There can be little doubt that the ticket buying public have been utterly failed yet again by our government.

Operation Podium needs to be retained and to continue to acquire and build on the level of expertise they have gained in dealing with the ticketing scumbags who are raking in tens of millions of pounds per year of our money. We are betting they aren't paying tax on any of that either.

Your Ratings & Comments
1 comment
Operation Podiums report - read full report online
Written by nancyhaven | 17th May 2013
The report has been pubished for all those interested enough to read it. Nothing new in it.
Government Ministers cover up comprehensive report into ticketing in latest ticket scandal

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