Dijen Basu QC and Catriona Hodge successfully appear for Suffolk Constabulary against Ipswich Town Football Club

Judgment has today been handed down by the High Court on the central issue of liability in Ipswich Town Football Club v Chief Constable of Suffolk Constabulary. It establishes that the Constabulary are entitled to charge the Club for policing services provided in two public roads adjoining the Club’s football stadium. Dijen Basu QC and Catriona Hodge represented the police force.

 

The Club brought a claim for the recovery of charges made for policing services provided outside its football stadium and sought a declaration that the police were not entitled to charge for such services. The Constabulary resisted the claim principally on the grounds that the police are able to charge for services provided outside the stadium within two public roads which are closed by the Club on match days. Mr. Justice Green rejected the Club’s argument, based on the Court of Appeal decision in Leeds United Football Club Ltd v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police [2013] 3 WLR 539 (Lord Dyson MR and Moore-Bick and McCombe LJJ), that the policing of the two roads formed part of the Constabulary’s general public duty for which no charge can lawfully be made. Green J held that there is a strong nexus between the crowd control services provided by the police inside the two roads and those provided inside the stadium for which it is agreed that charges can be made. Further hearings will be held to determine issues of recovery, limitation and, if necessary, quantum. The Club intends to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

 

The Court’s judgment can be found here.

The BBC’s reporting on the trial can be found here.

The Ipswich Star’s reporting on the trial can be found here.