Leeds United v West Yorkshire Police: key facts

The Leeds United v West Yorkshire Police litigation regarding charges levied by the Police for match day deployments finally concluded last year.  The Police were ordered to repay over £1 million in charges which were levied unlawfully on Leeds United over the previous six seasons. There had been much uncertainty as to the correct basis of charging before the Court of Appeal’s intervention, but the key legal principle is now:

“Pursuant to Section 25 of the Police Act 1996, the police cannot charge a private individual or entity for public  order policing on the public highway or on land that is not owned, leased or controlled by that private individual or entity. Where this has taken place, a rebate will be due to that private individual or entity”.

What does this mean for you?

The overcharging, and in particular, the use of a stadium “footprint” by the Police to work out charges for public order deployments, resulted from nationally-adopted guidance issued by the Association of Chief Police Officers in 2008.  Accordingly, the owners of stadia and other sporting/entertainment venues will have been overcharged for police deployments in the period since, although claims for rebates are limited by law to the last six years. Where this is the case, the charges are refundable as of right. That rebate could be significant, as illustrated by the Leeds United case itself.