Surrey’s cyber sleuth students at work

Students at computers

Cyber-curious students from Ash Manor School have been inspired to consider future careers in the sector after taking part in a special one-day workshop.

The event was hosted by Surrey County Council in collaboration with the Surrey Cyber Security Cluster (SCSC) and SATRO Education Charity as part of the Inspire Surrey pilot programme, and was held at the Hogs Back Hotel in Farnham.

The ‘Digital Detective Challenge’ was developed to harness the imagination of the students and encourage them to consider a future career in this exciting and fast-growing industry.

At the end of the day, almost all of the year 8 students taking part (28 out of 31) said they would now consider taking up a career in cyber – a resounding success for the day.

Matt Furniss, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Economic Growth, said: “Cyber security is a growing, highly innovative sector of huge importance to our regional economy. Events like this are fantastic to really capture the interest of enquiring young minds – the vital future leaders of this sector – and ensure cyber security’s continued growth and success in Surrey. I’m delighted the event was such a triumph for all participants.”

Surrey is a world-leader in cyber security, as home to a large and growing number of security firms and consultancy agencies including BAE Systems, CGI and F5.

Two of the UK’s five Gold Standard Cyber Security Universities (Royal Holloway and University of Surrey) are also based in the county, helping to drive innovation in the sector.

Surrey County Council is further nurturing the sector and supporting growth through its involvement in the Surrey Cyber Security Cluster.

Mr S Coomber, Head of Computer Science at Ash Manor School, said:“Events like this enable students to explore what it’s like to work in cyber security. By showcasing the breadth of opportunities available, we hope to empower students to make an informed decision about considering a career in the cyber sector.”

Jane Sheridan from SATRO Education Charity, said: “Today’s event was not just about solving puzzles; it was about igniting passion and curiosity for cyber careers among young minds. We wanted to provide students with a glimpse into the exciting world of cyber security while emphasizing the importance of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.” 

Hani Momeninia, Director of the SCSC, highlighted the significance of nurturing future talent in the cyber field. He said: “As the cyber landscape continues to evolve, there is a growing demand for skilled professionals capable of defending us against emerging threats. Initiatives like this play a crucial role in inspiring and nurturing the next generation of cyber leaders. It’s been great to work with the Surrey Cyber Security Cluster and SATRO Education Charity to design and host an engaging event for our budding cyber professionals.”

The event was one of a number of initiatives intended to inspire a range of audiences to consider a career in cyber by the Council’s Economy & Growth Team, in collaboration with the Surrey Cyber Security Cluster. Other events included a workshop for mums returning to work and a cyber careers fair at Brooklands Museum for secondary school students across the county.

Business Surrey, the Council’s new business initiative, is committed to supporting sectors, such as cyber security, with support to grow. Discover more at www.businesssurrey.co.uk.

Those businesses looking for support and advice with workforce needs can contact the team for free support at www.businesssurrey.co.uk/advice-and-support/business-support-form.

The Surrey Careers Hub also works to connect employers with schools and colleges to support young people to take their next best step. Find out how you can get involved at https://www.businesssurrey.co.uk/workforce/careers-hub/.

Bet your boots on skill camps?

Hundreds of residents across Surrey can fast track their careers for free thanks to a range of courses in nine exciting and growing sectors.   

Surrey County Council is offering anyone aged 19 and over the opportunity to gain new skills and boost their earnings via a range of Skills Bootcamps. 

These government-funded courses are flexible and can be completed in up to 16 weeks – meaning individuals can learn new skills easily and quickly at a time that suits them. Businesses can also use them as a low-cost way to upskill their current workforce.  

More than 500 courses are available across Surrey over the next nine months, in sectors such as health and social care, gaming, cyber, construction and advanced engineering. 

For most courses, no previous knowledge of the subject is required.  

All offer a guaranteed interview on completion – meaning they are ideal for those looking to progress in their current role or change careers. 

The first courses start this month with several Skills Bootcamps providers at the Camberley Careers Fair on Monday (July 15) at Camberley Theatre from 9.30am to 12.30pm. 

Anyone can attend the event and discover more about these career-boosting courses, while also getting advice from local organisations on personal finances, starting a business and how to secure a job.  

Matt Furniss, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Economic Growth, said: “Our continuous support of improving skills in Surrey is essential to our local economy. Whether learning a new skill or upskilling existing skills these free courses will help Surrey residents. 

“We are delighted to have been successful in securing £2.7 million from the Department for Education to support residents improve their career prospects through these Surrey Skills Bootcamps.   

“Ensuring our residents have the right skills to secure good-quality jobs in growing sectors within Surrey is vital to us maintaining our position as one of the UK’s largest regional economies. These free flexible courses are a great way to do that. 

“Supporting local people into great careers is good for our economy and good for our communities – ensuring we can offer a better quality of life for all, ensuring no one is left behind.” 

All of the Skills Bootcamps courses have been developed closely with industry to ensure they meet the future needs of local businesses and the wider economy. 

Any adult living in Surrey can sign up to a course, providing they have the right to work in the UK and they can commit to completing the course. 

Skills Bootcamps can also be used by local businesses to upskill current employees at a discounted rate. 

A full list of courses and start dates can be found on the Surrey County Council website

Register your interest at www.surreycc.gov.uk/skillsbootcamps

  • Skills Bootcamps were first launched in 2021 by the Department for Education (DfE).   
  • Skills Bootcamps are one of several skills products promoted as part of Skills for Life and DfE’s It all starts with skills campaign. This aims to get more people to start their skills journey by increasing supply of and demand for technical qualifications and skills offers among employers, young people and adults. 
  • Skills Bootcamps are now being delivered at a regional level by Surrey County Council through training providers, allowing local government to identify the skills needed for economic growth and development. 
  • Within Surrey, training is available across nine key sectors: 
  • Cyber 
  • Game development 
  • Construction – insulation 
  • Construction – retrofit 
  • Construction – heat pumps 
  • Green electrical – electric vehicles and solar panels 
  • Sustainability and carbon management 
  • Advanced engineering 
  • Health and social care 
  • More information on Skills Bootcamps, including information on how to apply, can be found on the County Council website.  
  • You must be over 19 years of age, have the right to work in the UK and be available to study according to the cohort start and end dates (March 2025). 

Local roadworks taken to task


Surrey County Council has established a critical new task force to reduce the impact of utility roadworks and drive better coordination and communication of works across Surrey’s road network.

Utility companies’ demands in Surrey are amongst the top five highest in the UK with 88 works starting every day in the last twelve months. In total, over 32,000 utility works have been undertaken across the county during this period, at a cost impact to Surrey residents of £35,424,225. 

Made up of representatives from water, energy and telecoms companies, the task force held their inaugural meeting last week and agreed five key areas of focus:

  • Better coordination of roadworks across Surrey
  • Working collaboratively to minimise disruption for residents
  • Improved public communication by utility companies and improved on-site signage prior to works commencing and throughout
  • Improved methods of sharing information, including online mapping of planned utility works
  • Clearly defined escalation routes so that SCC can quickly hold utility companies to account.

Jonathan Hulley, Deputy Cabinet Member, Strategic Highways at Surrey County Council, said, “Whilst we recognise that works on the highway carried out by utility companies are necessary, these works are all too often impacting negatively on Surrey road users.

This is a huge source of frustration for our residents, and we need to ensure that utility works are completed quicker, with better traffic management, better coordination, and better resident communication, which is why we have formed this vital task force. 

Surrey County Council is working hard to improve over 100 roads as part of our £8.5m highways maintenance programme this Summer to help prevent potholes – the biggest ever surface dressing programme undertaken in the county.

I thank all partners who attended the first meeting of the task force and I look forward to working together to drive real improvements and do all we can to reduce utility congestion on our busy road network.”

The task force will meet monthly to take this work forward.

More information on Surrey County Council’s responsibilities and utility companies roadworks is available on the Surrey County Council website.

Image: Credit Geof Sheppard Licence

Epsom library to lend an ear on changes

Epsom library

Epsom Library is being transformed as part of Surrey Libraries modernisation programme and residents are invited to drop in to give their views at the library on Tuesday 9th July from 10am to 4pm. 

This is an opportunity to meet library staff, hear more about the improvements and give feedback on the designs for the library.   

A separate session especially for children, parents and carers will be held during Story-time from 10:15am to 10.45am. The designs will remain on display in the library for at least 2 weeks following the 9th July, to provide an opportunity for further feedback.  

The library changes will include a fully flexible layout with space for events and performances; improved furniture and increased study space; new Super Access technology enabling out of hours use and multi-use meeting rooms. 

To enable initial set up works to be completed, the library will be closed from 5th August for one week only. It will then re-open from the 12th August within Epsom library’s learning centre, still within the Ebbisham Centre, which will be accessed via the cafe.  

Customers will be able to access a range of library items, along with computer workstations, printing and the popular Rhymetime and Story-time events, which will still run at a reduced capacity to suit the space.  

Work at the library will continue throughout 2024, until the expected final completion date of February 2025.  Any further short closures required will be well publicised before they take place. 

More information on Epsom Library changes will be found at the Epsom Library page  

King’s Gongs for Surrey leaders

Tim Oliver and Rachael Wardell

Tim Oliver, Conservative Leader of Surrey County Council and Rachael Wardell, Executive Director of Children, Families and Lifelong Learning at Surrey County Council have both been awarded OBEs in The King’s Birthday Honours list 2024. Mr Oliver receives his Honour as Councillor and Leader for services to Local Government, and Rachael Wardell for services to children’s social care.

Commenting on his Honour, Tim Oliver said: “I’m delighted that the King recognises so many people’s contribution to public service in this way, and it’s an honour to receive an award. During the last six years as Leader of Surrey County Council nothing could have been achieved without the dedication and skill of those colleagues who put public service at the heart of everything they do. So, I’d like to say a big thank you to all those who have supported me, and to the people of Surrey who I’ve had the privilege of leading in this great county.”

Commenting on her Honour, Rachael Wardell said: “I was pleased and touched to be honoured in this way. As with any kind of public service, any of the achievements or successes attributed to me are really the work of dozens, if not hundreds of people, pulling together in the interests of children and their families, so I am grateful to all the teams I have been privileged to work with over the years whose skills and strengths are reflected in this recognition.”  

Joanna Killian, Chief Executive of the LGA and former Chief Executive of Surrey County Council, said: “I’m delighted to see that Tim has been recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours. That recognition is hugely deserving for an exemplary and dedicated public servant. Tim is a shining example of the very best of local government leadership.”

“I’m also hugely proud of Rachael Wardell to be honoured with an OBE. Rachael has always been totally focused on delivering the very best for children under her care and Surrey is lucky to have such a strong and skilled Director of Children’s Services.”

In relation to Rachael’s OBE, Michael Coughlin, Interim Chief Executive of Surrey County Council said: “On behalf of everyone at Surrey County Council, I would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Rachael. Her exceptional leadership and dedication to public service throughout her career has been unwavering.

Rachael has played a critical role in the lives of children in a number of Councils, including at Surrey, which has been recognised in the award of this thoroughly deserved OBE in the King’s Birthday Honours.

In relation to Tim’s OBE, Simon Edwards, Chief Executive of the County Councils Network (CCN) said: “On behalf of the County Councils Network, I would like to congratulate Tim on this richly deserved honour; a recognition of his many achievements in a long career in local government.

“Having served on both Elmbridge Borough Council and Surrey County Council – becoming leader in 2017 – Tim has worked tirelessly to champion Surrey for over two decades. As chairman of the County Councils Network since 2021, Tim has been a strong advocate for improving local services for the 26m people who live in county and rural areas.”

Tim Oliver career history
Tim has been an Elmbridge Borough or Surrey County councillor for nearly 25 years. He took on the role of leader of Surrey County Council in 2018 at a challenging time for the organisation and embarked on a wholescale transformation project with the Chief Executive that has provided financial stability, leadership across Surrey and had a clear positive impact on residents.

Formerly CEO and then Deputy Chairman of a legal and professional services business, Tim was extensively involved in driving operational delivery and business development. He is a qualified solicitor and the author of three legal text books. 

He has held many non-executive roles including on a wide range of not-for-profit boards. Tim is actively involved in the Charity sector as Vice President and previous Chair of Shooting Star Children’s Hospices and Chair of the Weybridge Land Charity.

He is currently the Chair of the County Councils Network and Chair of the Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care Board.

Rachael Wardell career history
Rachael Wardell has held the position of Executive Director of Children, Families and Lifelong Learning at Surrey County Council since 2020 and is currently also the Vice President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS). In addition, Rachael is the Executive Director sponsor for Surrey County Council’s internal network for ethnically diverse staff.

Rachael has dedicated her career to helping those most in need with nearly 30 years of public service, having previously served as Director of Children’s Services in the London Borough of Merton, and as both Director of Children’s Services and Director of Adult Social Services at West Berkshire Council, and she also held posts at Wokingham Borough Council and Ofsted. Rachael’s background in children’s services began in Early Years inspection and regulation and one of her happy places will always be a daycare setting or a reception classroom.

Before becoming Vice President of ADCS in 2024, Rachael, at various times, was also a Board Member/Trustee of The Staff College, Skills for Care and Become (the charity for children in care and young care leavers). 

During her time at Surrey County Council, Rachael has driven significant improvement in children’s services which was recognised by Ofsted in a recent focused visit. Balancing the other professional demands on her, Rachael spends as much time as possible meeting children, families, schools and staff to hear their experiences and shape services with their best interests and outcomes at heart.

Image: Buckingham Palace licence details Tim Oliver and Rachael Wardell SCC

First school art works for Surrey’s trees

Epsom common trees

An exciting competition kicked off across Surrey on the 1st June to encourage young people to celebrate ancient trees and have their artwork featured in a new children’s book, ‘The Thousand Year Tree’. Children aged between 4 and 11 years are encouraged to head to their local Surrey library to pick up a template and create artwork for the inside covers, known as ‘end papers’ of the new book. Any art medium can be used, and artwork should be themed around trees and nature.

As England’s most wooded county, Surrey is home to some of our nation’s oldest trees, many are over one thousand years old. To celebrate these trees, local author Lucy Reynolds and illustrator Katie Hickey, are working with a group of children from Weyfield Primary Academy in Guildford. They have already been involved in a series of creative workshops, school assemblies and educational visits to Newlands Corner in the Surrey Hills National Landscape, to see the ancient yew trees. The children, guided by the experts will create poems and timelines charting the history of ancient trees which will culminate in the creation of a captivating Children’s Book. The book will be distributed across all 52 of Surrey’s libraries as well as through additional local schools, inviting readers of all ages to learn about ancient trees and how to safeguard their future.

Gordon Jackson, Chairman of the Surrey Hills Society said: “The Surrey Hills Society is delighted to be involved in this project, supported by a grant from the Surrey Hills Access for All fund. We are extremely grateful for the promotional support of the Surrey Library network. Being a part of the process of creating the book with both Lucy and Katie is inspirational and we very much look forward to seeing the final literary masterpiece. The Society is committed to encouraging people of all ages and abilities to discover and enjoy the Surrey Hills and we are proud to help Surrey’s children learn so much about our ancient trees and surrounding countryside.

Carolyn McKenzie, Director of Environment at Surrey County Council said: “With creativity, education, and community spirit at its core, this project not only celebrates Surrey’s ancient trees but also fosters a deeper connection between young minds and the natural world, paving the way for a future generation of environmental stewards. This project highlights even more the importance of Surrey’s tree planting scheme, which will plant 1.2 million trees by 2030, the trees of today will become the ancient trees of the future leaving a lasting legacy.” 

Susan Wills MBE Assistant Director Arts, Culture, Heritage and Libraries at Surrey County Council said: What a wonderful opportunity for children to take part in a creative reading project that  encourages learning about nature and Surrey’s ancient trees. Surrey is England’s most wooded county and this project is a wonderful opportunity to educate children in the vital role trees play, from providing habitats for wildlife to absorbing carbon dioxide! All fifty-two of our Surrey Libraries are taking part so wish all the participants the best of luck!”.

The competition runs from 1 June to 4 September and templates can be collected and returned to any Surrey Library. Further details and terms and conditions are available on the Surrey Hills Society website, click here to find out how you can get involved.. 

The project is a collaborative effort between the Surrey Hills Society, Surrey Hills National Landscape, Surrey County Council, author Lucy Reynolds, illustrator Katie Hickey, Guildford Book Festival and The Old Dungate Press. With thanks to funding from the Surrey Hills Access for All fund, enabling everyone to love and protect Surrey’s National Landscape. 

Surrey Business Support Service

Cllr Matt Furniss, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP and Cllr Tim Oliver at the launch of Business Surrey

Business Surrey – a new Surrey County Council service offering free and accessible support to businesses across the county – has officially been launched by Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt. 

From start-ups to longstanding SMEs, Surrey companies of all sizes, sectors and stages of their business journey can access expert support for no cost via a new website www.businesssurrey.co.uk

The Council developed the offer to coincide with the transfer of strategic powers to grow the economy previously held by the county’s two Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). 

It means for the first time there is a single, co-ordinated business support offer for the whole of Surrey – something which is welcomed by local leaders. 

Matt Furniss, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Economic Growth, said: “Surrey has a fantastic economic story to tell – with more than 100,000 businesses, a highly-skilled workforce and world-leading sectors helping generate more than £50 billion a year to the UK economy. 

“But we know there’s more that we can do – which is why I am delighted we have developed Business Surrey, providing a simple and easy way for companies of all sizes to access the support they need to grow. 

“By being in a position to support businesses from day one of being handed these functions from LEPs, we are ahead of the national curve – something which can only be positive for our 1.2 million residents and 110,000 businesses.” 

Business Surrey provides free and accessible support for all businesses in Surrey - such as targeted bespoke supportfor high growth companies, highlighting networking events, promoting the county’s innovative sectors, and hosting a live directoryof more than 100 national and local initiatives. 

The new website also brings together of the business-facing aspects of the Council’s work, including trading standards, Greener Futures and Surrey Fire & Rescue. 

Business Surrey went live in April and was officially launched at Huskins in Godalming by the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt last week (Friday May 17). 

Also speaking was Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council; Shahid Azeem, the High Sheriff of Surrey; and local tech entrepreneur Terence Naidu. 

Representatives from Surrey County Council, business groups, universities and the county’s 11 district and borough authorities were among those attending. 

Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor of the Exchequer and MP for South West Surrey, said: “Surrey is a fantastic place to do business. The innovation and ideas of its residents, combined with sector strengths in creative industries, and tech and life sciences, make it a pivotal region in driving growth for the whole of the UK. 

“That’s why it’s great to see Surrey County Council using the newly transferred powers formally held by LEPs to develop a clear offer to support businesses. 

“I would urge businesses at all stages of their journey to contact the Business Surrey team to access expert help and support.” 

Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council, said: “Growing the economy in a sustainable way is a priority for the Council, which can only be achieved by working and engaging with our fantastic business community.  

“Growth is not only good for business; it also generates opportunities for local people, supports investment in our communities, and improves the lives and wellbeing of our 1.2 million residents. 

“We’re looking forward to continuing to work closely with our universities, businesses, and local authority partners to capitalise on our enhanced strategic economic role, as it is only through shared expertise that we stand the best chance of growing our economies.” 

As part of the launch, Surrey County Council has teamed up with Surrey Chambers of Commerce to hold a series of Business Surrey Roadshow events next month. 

The sessions will include practical ways for business owners to access support to grow their enterprises, as well as opportunities to connect with like-minded professionals. 

The events take place on: 

  • June 4 in Camberley – Login Lounge from 8am 
  • June 6 in Egham – Royal Holloway, University of London from 6pm 
  • June 13 in Horley – Langshott Manor Hotel from 8am 
  • June 21 in Leatherhead – Fetcham Park House from 8am 

Pre-booking for the events is essential. Secure your space via the Business Surrey website – www.businesssurrey.co.uk/events

Image: Cllr Matt Furniss, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP and Cllr Tim Oliver at the launch of Business Surrey

Surrey Arts appointed to lead Surrey Music Hub

A school orhestra

Surrey Arts, part of Surrey County Council has been appointed by Arts Council England to lead the Surrey Music Hub from September 2024, as part of an ambitious national programme to provide high-quality music education for all children and young people.

Surrey Arts will receive £1.42 million in funding from the Department for Education to coordinate music education in the local area, plus an additional £469,000 to invest in new musical instruments, equipment and technology tailored to the needs of children and young people in Surrey, including those with special educational needs and disabilities.

Surrey Arts will deliver high quality music education accessible to all children and young people in Surrey through diverse partnerships between educational, creative and community organisations in the local community and throughout the country.

The appointment is part of a major investment in a new generation of the nationwide network of Music Hubs. This investment will help to deliver the Government’s National Plan for Music Education, and give all children and young people the opportunity to develop their musical interests as far as they wish, including helping them to begin careers in the music industry.

Denise Turner-Stewart, Surrey County Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Customer and Communities said: “We are delighted that Surrey Arts, part of Surrey County Council will be able to continue its work in leading the music hub in Surrey. The music hub is a network of music organisations and schools working together to bring musical opportunities to young people. This funding will ensure that we are able to continue championing music and support thousands of young people across Surrey to experience the joy and pleasure of participating in musical activities.”

Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, said: “Music education is enormously powerful – it can enrich young people’s lives, help them connect with the people around them, and start them on the pathway to fruitful and fulfilling careers.  We are excited to announce this investment in a new generation of Music Hubs, which will support the brilliant work of our dedicated music teachers across the country, and help bring high-quality music education to even more children and young people in every part of England.”

Visit www.surreymusichub.com to find out more.

Notes to Editors

Surrey Music Hub is a network of music organisations and schools working together to bring more musical opportunities to children and young people in Surrey, both in schools and in the wider community. Led by Surrey Arts, the county council’s arts service, the Hub will act as an advocate for music education, encouraging participation in music across the county. They will work to ensure that children and young people from all backgrounds receive music education that is high quality, wide ranging, sustainable and accessible to all and that there are clear routes for progression. https://surreymusichub.com/

Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high-quality cultural experiences. We invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision. www.artscouncil.org.uk.

Image Corey Seeman

County lines of trees

Trees and children planting

Surrey County Council has worked with residents and community groups to plant over 36,000 new trees across the county. The council remains on track to plant 1.2 million trees by 2030, marking one for every resident.

Since the launch of the initiative in 2019, over 510,744 trees have now been planted across the county. This year, 1952 metres of new hedgerows have been planted during this year’s tree planting season, offering habitats for wildlife.

A range of community projects have also been undertaken to support our ambitions to improve air quality and biodiversity. These include:

  • A group of 180 community members came together to plant over 7300 hedgerow trees at Bocketts Farm to support birds, mammals and other wildlife.
  • 42 trees were donated to Bronzefield Women’s Prison in Ashford and the tree Planting and Establishment team delivered a workshop to those women who were undertaking horticultural qualifications.
  • 2625 native broadleaf trees were planted in The Priory C of E School in Dorking using an experimental planting technique, Miyawaki/Tiny Forest. This technique of dense tree planting restores naturally occurring native species and speeds up natural ecological succession.

The new webpages have also been developed to include an interactive tree map, tree planting advice and tips for how residents can get involved. More details are available here.

Marisa Heath, Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for the Environment, said, I’m delighted that we are progressing our ambition to plant 1.2 million new trees in Surrey as we work to both meet net zero targets but also make our county as green and beautiful as possible.

This is not something we can deliver alone and we will continue to work with our partners and communities to achieve this target. I encourage residents to visit our new webpages to find out how they can get involved.

Image credit: rawpixel.com

Avoid ticket scams this summer

Summer music festiival

Residents are being warned to be aware of online ticket scams that are catching out eager concert-goers ahead of the summer. 

Surrey Trading Standards is pleased to announce the launch of a campaign aimed at curbing event ticket fraud across both counties. With a number of residents falling victim to deceptive practices when purchasing event tickets online, this initiative seeks to protect residents from financial loss and disappointment. 

Event ticket fraud involves unscrupulous individuals exploiting the high demand for tickets to concerts, sporting events, and other popular attractions. Fraudulent practices include the sale of counterfeit tickets, non-existent tickets, and tickets with inflated prices. Such schemes not only result in financial losses for consumers but also tarnish the reputation of legitimate event organisers and venues. 

Surrey Trading Standards has already witnessed online scammers attempting to exploit people wanting to see concerts by Taylor Swift, and the Foo Fighters.  Future scams may include Glastonbury and sporting events such as Wimbledon and this summer’s Paris Olympics. 

Steve Ruddy, Head of Trading Standards at Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards said: “Music and sports fans are at risk of huge rises in online ticket fraud. Criminal activity selling fake tickets is becoming more and more prevalent online and we urge people to avoid disappointment by being cautious when purchasing tickets for all sporting and music events. 

Ticket fraud not only harms consumers financially but also undermines trust in the marketplace. Our campaign aims to empower our residents with the knowledge and resources they need to make informed ticket purchases. By raising awareness, we can create a safer environment for consumers to enjoy live events across Buckinghamshire, Surrey and beyond.” 

Tips for purchasing event tickets online 

  • Only buy direct from legitimate ticket sites 
  • Always use a debit or credit card when you buy tickets online (not bank transfer). This helps to protect your money should something go wrong 
  • Be extra cautious when purchasing tickets advertised by individuals on social media Fraudsters use social media to advertise tickets that don’t exist. If you’re looking for a ticket, always search for it yourself from a trusted source 
  • Low prices and seemingly great deals are often used to disguise scams. However, if demand for tickets is high or an event is sold out, fraudsters can charge more to trick desperate buyers 
  • Check the details of the site you are buying from and before entering payment ensure the web address starts with https and that there’s a padlock icon in the browser bar 
  • Check the vendor is a member of the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) 

Residents are encouraged to report their concerns about event ticket fraud to the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133. The helpline takes all enquiries on behalf of Trading Standards across England and Wales and will pass the report to the relevant Trading Standards team.   

Alternatively, if you have been a victim and lost money, please report to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.