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West Yorkshire Police lose football costs appeal case

West Yorkshire Police has lost its appeal case over the costs of policing matches at Leeds United’s Elland Road stadium.

The force was seeking to overturn a previous court ruling that the club was not responsible for paying for policing streets and car parks near the ground.

But the Court of Appeal in London rejected the police’s claim.

The decision means that the force will have to repay about £1m to Leeds United for three years worth of policing fees.

‘Extended footprint’

The court heard that it cost West Yorkshire police about £350,000 a season to provide policing for Leeds United’s home games.

During the appeal hearing, West Yorkshire Police’s lawyer argued that the area required no policing whatsoever on non-match-days, with one community support officer patrolling the entire area a few times a day as part of a larger beat. Yet, on match-days, numerous officers were required.

However, the Master of the Rolls Lord Dyson, sitting with Lord Justice Moore-Bick and Lord Justice McCombe, said: “The policing of the extended footprint on match-days is provided in order to maintain law and order and protect life and property in a public place.

“None of the arguments advanced on behalf of West Yorkshire Police persuades me that the law and order services provided by them in the extended footprint are different in principle from the law and order services that they provide in any other public place.”

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