Royal Ascot Racecourse associated with criminal activity?

Well, I am surprised.

I received a junk email to me (as an individual subscriber) with no prior consent, trying to sell me tickets to Ascot, on the "New Official Royal Ascot Hospitality Site!". This is a crime under section 22 of The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.

It claimed to be from "EVENTS LNTERNATIONAL LTD" (sic) company 04278759 (which is actually PLATINUM EVENT TRAVEL LIMITED).

No reply to an email to them, but, to my surprise, no reply from Royal Ascot Racecourse's press office either. I did give them to chance to provide a reply to my impending blog post, but no reply after over 24 hours.

I can only assume that they are happy to be associated with this criminal activity. It is very disappointing indeed.


  1. Breaching s22 of PECR doesn't amount to a crime — remedies are administrative (possibility for a monetary penalty) or civil (possibility of an order to pay compensation), but are not criminal.

    1. Depends what you mean by a crime, it is breaking a law - that is a crime.

    2. If crime is defined as "breaking the law" then, yes, it's a crime.

      I'm not sure that that is what makes something a crime, though — I would consider a "crime" to be something which, at law, constitutes a criminal offence, and the provisions of PECR do not make breaching this law a criminal offence.

      Would you consider that that unauthorised copying of a copyright work was a crime, on the basis that copyright law reserves the exclusive right to do certain things to the owner of a copyright work (save for some exceptions)? By performing an unauthorised act of copying (leaving exceptions aside), one infringes on the exclusive rights granted to the owner, but I would have thought that is not something which one would call a crime, but rather a tort (of copyright infringement)?

    3. Would you accept "unlawful" instead of "criminal"?

    4. Possibly - the definition of crime seems a bit wooley in dictionaries, but does seem to cover this. We are not talking simple civil debt or things like trespass or non profit copyright infringement for personal use, all of which are totally civil "wrongs", we are talking stuff that can be enforced by the ICO under changes to the Data Protection Act here (as well as, quite independently, allowing civil claims for damages).

  2. > we are talking stuff that can be enforced by the ICO under changes to the Data Protection Act here

    Absolutely — and there is a criminal offence within the Data Protection Act (s55; unlawful obtaining), but s55(3) expressly calls out that this is an offence:

    "A person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence."

    To my mind, it is this bit which makes it a crime.

    A monetary penalty, perhaps the other most powerful enforcement tool, is considered by the ICO to be a civil, not a criminal, matter:


    (You might need to rename the .ashx file to a .pdf.)

    Where a monetary penalty is imposed by the ICO but is not paid, its enforcement route is via civil debt recovery (according to ICO guidance):


    It is, perhaps, just a matter of semantics, but my immediate reaction (other than "hmmm... not sure about that...." was that accusing someone of being associated with a criminal activity might, if not true, be defamatory!

    1. Well, maybe, but it is just expressing my opinion and posted with a question mark, so I think not.

    2. If only someone else had written it. Then you could have written a blog post about the almost incomprehensibly convoluted notice and takedown regime under the Defamation Act 2013:

      The Defamation (Operators of Websites) Regulations 2013


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