Melissa York, Reporter
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Two men were banned from the ExCeL Centre at the weekend for ticket touting outside a popular comic book convention.
The London Super Comic Convention, also known as ComicCon, was one of four events at the exhibition centre in Custom House targeted by the men trying to illegally sell tickets at inflated prices.
The touts, both from south London, had 13 tickets with a face value of £260 seized and banning orders were issued on the spot to prevent them from returning to the ExCeL.
Their details were also passed on to the Department for Work and Pensions for further investigation and they could face arrest.
The men were caught as part of an undercover operation by the Metropolitan Police, the British Transport Police, and Newham Council’s enforcement team to stop touts snatching up tickets, leaving members of the public no choice but to pay up to double the amount to attend events.
A third man was also arrested for the attempted theft of a mobile phone while the operation was going on.
The move is likely to be repeated for future events at the ExCeL Centre that touts are likely to target.
Sgt Poseidon Kaklamanos, from British Transport Police’s Docklands Light Railway Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Although crime is already low, we are always trying to reduce it further. This operation was a reminder to unauthorised ticket touts that they are not welcome on the Tube or DLR network.”
Cllr Unmesh Desai, executive member for Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour, said: “Big events should be an opportunity for people to enjoy themselves not to be ripped off by unscrupulous crooks.
“Event organisers invest a lot of hard work, time and money into their exhibitions and they should not have to put up with the added heartache of criminal activity.”