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Preparations in Place to Keep Race Week Safe

March 11, 2013, 2:15 pm

Those socialising in Cheltenham town centre during race week will see horses are not just appearing at the racecourse.

Following on from the successes of previous years, mounted police officers will be out and about in the town centre throughout race week (Tuesday March 12 to Friday March 15).

The horses and their officers will help police the town centre at night to provide additional reassurance to the large numbers of visitors as a result of the festival.

Gloucestershire Police and Cheltenham Borough Council have been working tirelessly to plan for the week and promote safer drinking and good behaviour.

Together with help from Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service, Street Pastors, the South West Ambulance Service (SWAS) and the night time economy partners it is hoped the Festival is a successful and safe week for all.

Gloucestershire Constabulary is joining up with race week sponsors Diageo GB and Nightsafe (a partnership of local licensees) again this year, as part of a drive to promote responsible drinking.

Nightsafe and Diageo GB will be funding the two police horses over the four nights as part of their commitment to help keep people safe from harm.

A ‘policing hub using the affectionately named Bobby Bus (mobile police station) will be based outside Marks and Spencers on the High Street for the duration of the week.

The hub will be a central point for people to meet with officers and ask advice or report any issues. The officers will also have free maps of Cheltenham Town Centre to help visitors find useful locations such as the train station, bus stops, private hire and taxi pick-up points, and provides a list of numbers of private hire and taxi companies from Cheltenham and the surrounding areas.

During the week officers at the hub will be joined by SWAS and the street pastors will be on hand to offer support and care to those out socialising.

Inspector Tim Waterhouse is responsible for policing in the town centre, he said: “Weve got several measures in place with the help of our partner agencies to help the weeks festivities pass off safely and remind people of the importance of safe and sensible drinking.”

Gloucestershire Police will be deploying additional officers in Cheltenham during the evenings throughout the Festival to ensure visitors and residents can enjoy themselves in a safe environment.

“It is going to be bitterly cold this week so dont forget to wrap up warm. We cant improve the weather for you all sadly but we will be doing all we can to make sure that both those visiting the town enjoy all Cheltenham has to offer and that and those who live and work in the town are caused as little disruption as possible,” Insp Waterhouse added.

Race-themed, eye catching extra large posters will be displayed around the town reminding visitors that they can help prevent crime by looking after their valuables.

Extra portable toilets are in place in strategic points around the town centre for those caught short and additional taxi marshals will be in operation at the Promenade taxi rank during the evenings throughout the week. They marshals will again be wearing CCTV cameras to deter problems and capture any disorder at close hand.

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