It is well known that usually police services are funded by public funds and are there to protect the public in return. Although, it is less known that police services have the ability to charge for their services. In section 25 of the Police Act 1996 (1) voiced that the police force ‘may provide, at the request of any person, special police services at any premises or in any locality in the police area for which the force is maintained, subject to the payment…of charges….’.
However, there have been multiple cases questioning the charge as they argue that the service provided by the service place should still come under protecting the public like they would normally through public funds. in the case of Leeds United Football Club Ltd v The Chief Constable of West Yorkshire police (2) it was held that despite the police services being demanded for a private event, that police service does not characterise as a special service if it is not on land that is not being rented, organised by an events organiser or actually owned.
In Wigan Athletic Football Club v Greater Manchester Police (3) the application of competition law was thoroughly discussed in regards to the charges on the grounds, despite the issue not being resolved, it did leave an open door as to whether completion law can be applied in this instance to special police services. Although it is fairly obvious that that completion law does apply to the special service as the special service is demanded usually when a event is organised by an events organiser. In South Yorkshire Police v Sheffield United Football Club (4) it was highlighed that the special services of the police are needed to “ensure that the event takes place in conditions which do not occasion danger to any person or property” . In recent times, it much easier for private organisers to hire security instead of special service police. This was seen in Reading Festival v West Yorkshire Police (5), which clearly portrays the link between competition law and the requirement of special services, as in this position the special services are simply in competition with private security operators.
In further response to whether completion law is applied to special services in Reading Festival v West Yorkshire Police (5) and Wigan Athletic Football Club v Greater Manchester Police (3) both cases underlined that despite the statutory allowing for special police services to be offered, the Chief constable is in charge of how many police officers are needed where and when to ensure they behaviour is orderly. Thus, it is then questioned whether the discussion of the amount of police officers required is needed or actually decided on a competitive basis.