Joint BHB/JC Security Review Group Unveils Its Findings and Makes Recommendations
Published: 1 July 2003
The Security Review Group makes 36 Recommendations to the Racing Authorities
The Report of the Security Review Group, which contains 36 Recommendations to enhance the integrity of British horseracing and the ability of the Jockey Club Security Department to respond to such issues, was handed to The Jockey Club and the British Horseracing Board on 27th June.
The Report identifies five broad areas of threat to the integrity of British horseracing (see Executive Summary); it comments on the breadth and depth of the various threats arising from breaches of the Rules of Racing, criminality or other activities and the potential sources of those threats.
The Report details the need for a more focused and robust response to integrity issues by the Security Department at The Jockey Club but emphasises that all stakeholders in the racing and betting industries have an active role to play in maintaining the integrity of the sport.
Comment is made on the importance of persons licensed or registered by The Jockey Club abiding by the Rules of Racing. The roles of bookmakers and betting exchanges are discussed together with the emerging threats arising from the wider opportunities now available to the public to “lay” a horse to lose as well as betting to win. It is judged that the threat to integrity is increased if “inside information” not available to the general public is used by licensed persons or others to cheat, either by betting to win or “laying” to lose.
The Report recommends that those persons licensed or registered by the Jockey Club should declare any account held by them with a bookmaker or betting exchange to provide an effective audit trail in respect of any suspicious betting activity and the declaration should be a condition of the grant of a licence or registration.
Recommendations are made to build upon current initiatives between the Security Department of the Jockey Club and bookmakers/betting exchanges to disclose information on account holders if corrupt practices are suspected.
The Report, whilst acknowledging the experience and expertise of current Security Department staff, has made various recommendations to improve the effectiveness, culture, openness and administration of the Security Department. These include additional staff resources for the central intelligence cell at Jockey Club Headquarters and a significant improvement in its use of information technology.
Further recommendations are made on the aims, objectives and priorities of the Security Department which seek to clarify that its principal activity should be to police the Rules of Racing. Where suspected criminal matters are uncovered, they should be referred to the Police.
Better liaison between the Security Department, other personnel within the Jockey Club and BHB and with the wider racing and betting communities, as well as the Police and Government agencies, is also recommended.
The Report deals with the important post of the Director of Security and makes recommendations about the process and transparency required in appointing the next Director.
The wide consultation undertaken by the Security Review Group confirmed that the integrity of British horseracing is high on the agenda for all concerned with the sport.
Ben Gunn, the Chairman of the Review Group, said “I firmly believe that the 36 Recommendations, which cover integrity issues from both a factual and perception standpoint, if implemented, will enhance the integrity of the sport in the future and significantly improve the Jockey Club Security Department’s ability to address the threats”.
Note to Editors
1. The Security Review Group, which was jointly sponsored by The Jockey Club and British Horseracing Board, started work on 16th January 2003 and has completed its work in five months.
2. The membership of the Security Review Group was:
Chairman: Ben Gunn, CBE, QPM, MA (Cantab) C Inst Mgt
Rodney Brack Horserace Betting Levy Board
John Essery, QPM, Independent member
Elliot Grant Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Tristram Ricketts British Horseracing Board
Gurney Sheppard The Jockey Club
3. An Executive Summary of the Report is attached.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF THE REPORT
The Security Review Group has fulfilled its task under the six Terms of Reference which, in essence, are:
(i) to identify the nature of the threats to the integrity of horseracing in Great Britain and assess the breadth and depth of such threats; and
(ii) to consider how best the Security Department of the Jockey Club should be structured and organised to deal with the threats to racing’s integrity.
Integrity is crucial to the future success of a sport which supports a multi-billion pound racing and betting industry. The integrity of horseracing in Great Britain has taken some severe knocks over the past 5 years, with high profile arrests of five well known jockeys and a trainer in 1998 and 1999, although all were cleared of any criminal wrong-doing.
In 2000 a trial of five persons accused of conspiring to defraud by doping two racehorses collapsed at Southwark Crown Court and all five defendants were cleared of the criminal charges on the direction of the Judge. Three of the defendants were subsequently banned by the Jockey Club from setting foot on all racecourses in Great Britain.
In 2002 a series of criminal trials involving an international drug smuggling gang came to a conclusion and, in one of the trials, allegations surfaced about the corrupt activities of criminals in horseracing.
Also in 2002, two high profile television programmes cast serious aspersions on the integrity of horseracing in Great Britain.
In November 2002 the Jockey Club and BHB jointly commissioned a Review of the integrity of British horseracing and how best the Security Department of the Jockey Club should be structured and organised to deal with it.
The Group, which commenced its work in January 2003, comprised senior representatives from the Jockey Club, the BHB, the Horserace Betting Levy Board, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and a retired senior Police Detective. The Group was independently chaired by a retired Chief Constable.
The Review has been completed in five months and has been an inclusive process with wide consultation involving a broad cross section of principal stakeholders in horseracing, others having an interest in the sport, including the betting industry, the racegoing and betting public and the media.
The threats to horseracing’s integrity have been identified under five broad categories:
• Breaches of the Orders and Rules of Racing by persons licensed or registered by the Jockey Club, or by others;
• Corrupt practice by any person in respect of gambling on horses, including both the betting on horses to win and the “laying” of horses to lose;
• Criminal activity including terrorism and animal rights extremism, the doping of horses, money laundering and other corrupt practices concerned with horseracing;
• Illegal activity which affects the welfare of racehorses; and
• Breaches of employment laws in respect of staff engaged in the sport of horseracing.
Consideration has been given to the current breadth and depth of those threats, as well as the likely sources involved.
The Group has consi