§ Mr. Nigel Griffiths
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a further statement with respect to his policy on the introduction of legislation to outlaw ticket touting at sporting and entertainment events.
§ Mr. Maclean
[holding answer 14 June 1993]: The Government are committed to implementing the Taylor report's recommendation that there should be a new criminal offence of ticket touting at football matches. This is because of the implications such touting may have for public order and public safety. We intend to introduce the appropriate legislation when there is a suitable opportunity in the parliamentary timetable.
More generally we believe that, although some may find touting objectionable, it would not be appropriate for the criminal law to prohibit people from re-selling tickets which they have lawfully obtained, any more than it would be appropriate to forbid people to sell their other possessions. Such an offence would in any event be unenforceable. Neither would it be appropriate for the Government to attempt to regulate the price at which tickets may be resold. It is, however, already an offence for touts to deceive their customers as to the type of tickets they are selling, or obtain tickets by theft, fraud or intimidation. It is also open to the organisers of sporting or other entertainment events to impose contractual conditions on the sale of their tickets, forbidding resale and invalidating the tickets if they are sold on to third parties.