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Ticket touts face Olympic-size fine- 11 Mar 2011 00:00:00

Ticket touts at the London Olympic Games could face fines of up to £20,000 after the home secretary announced the limit is set to rise.

The maximum fine for ticket touting currently stands at £5,000.

In a statement, home secretary Theresa May said: ‘The change will ensure that there is a more substantial deterrent to serious and organised criminal groups. By increasing the fines for touting, we are sending a clear message to criminals and prospective criminals that it is not worth their while and they are not welcome’.

The Home Office added that an amendment to the London Olympic and Paralympic Games Act would be put to Parliament in the next few days.

Tickets for the 2012 Olympic Games go on sale next week, with 6.6m tickets to be made available to the public.

Operation Podium, a unit of the Metropolitan Police, has been set up to crack down on touts and Olympic-related fraud.

Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison, the national Olympic security co-ordinator, said: ‘Touts are part of organised criminal networks, often involved in other crimes, and we are committed to dismantling them layer by layer’.

Selling tickets for the London 2012 Games without permission was first made a criminal offence by the London Olympic and Paralympic Games Act 2006.

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