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Merseyside Police is extending a warm welcome to the many visitors heading to Merseyside this week for the Aintree festival (April 4-6) and is encouraging them to enjoy the event safely.

The Grand National is one of the biggest events in the sporting calendar and consistently attracts more than 150,000 people during the three-day festival.

Despite the vast attendance figures, the festival has an excellent record of deterring crime and anti-social behaviour and Merseyside Police has been working with Aintree Racecourse, local councils, Mersey Travel and other partners to carry out extensive planning with public safety as a priority.

With this in mind racegoers should expect to undergo a series of security checks, including bag and transport searches and badge checks. People are urged to arrive at the racecourse in plenty of time and limit the number of bags they bring to help get through security as quickly as possible.

Only pre-booked vehicles will be allowed onto the Aintree site and there are strongly enforced restrictions on parking around the course.

Police Commander, Superintendent Paul White, said: “Year on year Aintree is always a fantastic occasion and I am confident that this year’s festival will be no exception.   “We want people to have a safe and enjoyable time and their day at the races is memorable for all the right reasons.

“Racegoers can help us by arriving in good time and limiting the number of bags and other items they bring into the course. Co-operating with the security staff will ensure that queues are kept to a minimum and people can be in their places in plenty of time for the first race. The security checks are there for everyone’s benefit and the more co-operative and patient people are, the quicker the security and ticket staff can get people in.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to ask racegoers to spare a thought for residents, who accept the massive influx of people into the area with very good grace. However anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated outside the course and we ask people to treat the area with respect.”       FORGED BADGES

Anyone thinking of using forged tickets or badges should be warned that there are comprehensive checks in place to stop them getting into the course and they are at risk of being arrested. Operations are also in place in the lead up to the event to prevent sales of counterfeit badges or tickets and target offenders.

If you buy a forgery, you are supporting an illegal trade and handing your money over to criminals.

If you think you have unwittingly bought a forged ticket, or you have information on where they are being sold, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


The course and the event sponsors are committed to enforcing a policy of sensible drinking in their bars as alcohol remains a large part of the festival for some racegoers.

Merseyside Police is warning that alcohol-related disorder will not be tolerated. The pubs and off licenses in the surrounding area will also be monitored to ensure that people who are already drunk are not being served more alcohol.

Local concerns about urinating in the street around the racecourse will also be addressed by police, who, as previously, have met with residents in recent months. There are more port-a-loos around the course and offenders should expect to be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice if caught.

Alcohol is known to contribute to problems of disorder and anti-social behaviour but also lowers people’s awareness levels, making them more likely to fall victim to crime. Drinking sensibly will help prevent you or your winnings becoming a potential target for criminals.


One of the main threats to race-goers is petty crime, particularly pick pocketing. To help sure you don’t fall victim remember the following:

•          Don’t bring unnecessary bags to the event

•          Don’t leave your property, including bags and mobile phones unattended and keep valuables close at all times

•          Keep wallets and purses out of sight

•          Remain vigilant and be aware of those around you when placing bets and collecting winnings

•          Report any suspicious or criminal activity to officers in and around the course

Superintendent Paul White added:”Merseyside Police officers will be on hand throughout the festival to provide help, advice and reassurance to race-goers and visitors and I would encourage anyone with an issue or concern to report it to us or to security staff around the site.”       TRAVEL ADVICE

Racegoers are being advised to leave their cars at home and use alternative means of transport for the 2013 Aintree Festival.

Merseyside Police is working closely with Aintree Racecourse Management to ensure the public are aware of restrictions and travel options well before the starter’s gun on Thursday, April 4.

During the three-day race meeting the roads around the racecourse become congested with some roads closed to traffic. People are advised to leave their cars at home and use public transport and taxis where possible.

Racegoers who do travel by car are advised to car share where possible or get a friend or relative to drop them within a walkable distance from the course, and leave plenty of time to get into the event for the start of the racing programme each day.

Parking facilities close to the course are severely limited and there is an extensive “No Waiting” area around it. Traffic will be strictly controlled and enforcement carried out in line with the security operation and taking into account the needs of local residents in the surrounding streets.   For your return jouney taxis from Liverpool will be directed to rank up in Melling Avenue, with the queue starting at the junction with Greenwich Road. Taxis from Sefton will be asked to queue in Park Lane as in previous years.

Aintree railway station is one minute walk from the main entrance to the racecourse. Regular trains run every eight minutes on race days to and from Liverpool and from Ormskirk.  For full information about buses and trains contact the Merseytravel Travelline on 0871 200 2233.       Regular traffic updates will be broadcast by local radio stations including Radio City and Radio Merseyside, Radio Lancashire, Radio Cumbria and GMR.     Route information to motorists travelling to Aintree Races:

Use the official routes signposted by the AA. Aintree Racecourse is located on the A59, just one mile from the M57 and M58, which link the M62 and M6.    From the North:   Use the M6, exit M6 at J26 and join M58, to follow signs for races.    From the South:

Use the M6, exit M6 at J21A and join M62 west. From M62 exit at J6 to join M57 to follow local event signs.

From the East:

Use M62, exit at J6 and join M57 to follow local event signs.

From Wales and the Wirral:

Use the M53 following local event signs from the Mersey tunnel.

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