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Mean Fiddler Wins Police Appeal

LONDON (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Mean Fiddler Music Group has won a legal battle over who pays to police major events, after West Yorkshire Police claimed the company owed nearly £300,000 for services at the Leeds Festival in 2003.

Appeal Court judges in London said the police force did not supply “special police services” at the music festival, and could not demand the money from the concert promoter.

The ruling has implications for major events and any large gatherings of the public. The court was being asked to decide on the dividing line between services the police must provide as part of its public duty and special services provided at the request of promoters, for which promoters must pay.

Appeal Court Lord Justice Baker told the BBC that, “There is a strong argument that where promoters put on a function such as a music festival or sporting event which is attended by large numbers of the public, the police should be able to recover the additional cost they are put to for policing the event and the local community affected by it.

“This seems only just where the event is run for profit. That, however, is not the law.”

Mean Fiddler had organized the Leeds Festival since 1999 and asked for a paid for “special police services” until 2003. At that year’s festival, there was no police presence within the concert grounds, and Mean Fiddler argued it was therefore not liable to pay for police activity outside the site.

According to the court ruling, it is for the promoter to decide, after negotiation, what special police services it wants, otherwise it would have no choice but to pay the police for whatever scale of operation they chose to mount. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers