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UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 5th November 2019.

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Photo of James Kelly James Kelly Labour

Yes.

Anyway, I spent a bit of time outside the venue just looking at how everything operated, which was interesting. I looked closely at the activities of the ticket touts and saw the way that they hassled people who had turned up at the venue with extra tickets to try to get them to sell those tickets at a reduced value. Quite honestly, there was a lot of bullying and intimidation going on. I also saw the way that the touts tried to sell on the tickets at a much higher price to exploit people and get a profit. I saw that in action, and it really was despicable.

The Government and UEFA are right to take tough action on ticket touts. I welcome the comments of other members that we should take the opportunity to extend current legislation or to introduce new legislation to cover other events that are held throughout Scotland so that we can stop people exploiting fans who go to such events.

Another issue that has been examined is enforcement and the use of enforcement officers. Members are right to highlight some of the concerns of the local community about the powers of enforcement officers. The Government must be clear, in the legislation and the guidelines, on what the roles of the enforcement officers are. There will be a lot of disruption to the local community who live around Hampden and there are understandable concerns about the powers of enforcement officers to search households in the area. That must be done in a proportionate and fair manner.

Do I need to wind up, Presiding Officer?