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Crackdown planned on ticket touts

Wimbledon will be a tout-free zone thanks to special measures to stop them cashing in, authorities have said.

Wandsworth Council, Merton Council and the Metropolitan Police have introduced a special two-week dispersal zone around the All England Club, aimed at keeping touts at bay.

The zone includes the famous SW19 club as well as areas around Southfields, Wimbledon Park and Wimbledon stations.

Anyone suspected of touting can be ordered by a uniformed policed officer to leave the zone and not return for 24 hours and anyone who returns before that deadline will be arrested. Anyone actually caught selling tickets faces immediate arrest.

People who are believed to have purchased a ticket from a tout or any other unauthorised outlet faces being refused entry to the All England Club.

The zone, which has been used successfully in previous years, also gives officers enhanced powers to deter crime, disorder or anti-social behaviour and police have already written to known touts warning them to steer clear of the area.

Wandsworth Council's environment spokesman councillor Jonathan Cook said: "It is important that we do all we can to prevent fans being ripped off. Some of the touts use pretty aggressive and underhand tactics to sell tickets at vastly-inflated prices.

"In some cases the tickets are fake and there have been occasions when touts have taken money from unsuspecting fans and then simply disappeared. We believe that the zone will once again prove effective in disrupting these unlawful activities."

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