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Friday, June 19, 2009

More from Turner on Vicinity Charging

Hereford United chairman Graham Turner has, once again, spoken out against the principle of vicinity charging by the West Mercia Police for policing around, but not in, Edgar Street.

"When you talk about the vicinity of the ground, football supporters pay their taxes, pay their rates and that includes part of police services," Turner told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"And they have a right to protection from the police in areas away from the football ground.

"We are quite happy to accept responsibility and pay for any policing inside the ground but outside of the ground should be normal police duties and services we have come to expect."

Turner was asked if he thought Hereford United, as a smaller club, had been singled out over these charges.

"I think that might well have been the case that as a small club it was probably felt that we couldn't defend our cause too well but having good solicitors we have defended it most rigourously.

"It has got far reaching implications, if we do lose the case, for all sorts of other businesses that attract crowds.

"We feel we are totally at loggerheads with West Mercia Police.

"We're not aware of any of the other 92 Premier or Football League clubs having he same problem that we have got.

"Ours is the most extreme case of what is now being termed as 'vicinity charges'."

Mention was made of the club's safety certificate which has to be in place for the start of the coming season and whether the police might make life difficult.

"There's always that possibility but I wouldn't have thought so. The safety advisory group, we meet four times a year and we go into detail about the safety of the ground. I couldn't think they would have a big influence on that sort of committee but you never know."