Armed police will patrol the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale

19th July 2017
Armed police

Merseyside Police Commander Chief Superintendent Jonathan Roy has welcomed Golf Fans To Royal Birkdale For The 2017 Open

He said today: The Open returns to Royal Birkdale for the 10th time this week and I am delighted to be the silver commander for the policing operation.

Merseyside Police has a long tradition of managing major events in partnership with other emergency services, stakeholders and the people of Merseyside who always give visitors a warm welcome. More than 200,000 people are expected at the Championship during the week and I know that our officers are looking forward to playing their part in ensuring The Open is a safe and enjoyable event for visitors and residents alike.

The R&A, Sefton Council and our other key partners have been working extensively with Merseyside Police and other agencies during the past twelve months to ensure that the event is as safe as possible and as much of a success as it has been in previous years.

Merseyside Police constantly reviews its approach to supporting our partners in delivering any large-scale public event and spectators can expect to see enhanced physical security and high visibility policing across the eight days of this event, complementing and supporting other security agencies.

Spectators will also notice a change in the policing approach to that which they may have seen in previous years as we will be deploying armed police officers, on foot and in vehicles, throughout the course of the Championship. The reason for this dedicated deployment of armed officers is not in response to any direct threat aimed at the Open but, in light of recent events, to ensure that we fully able to keep people safe and to give visible reassurance of this to those people attending the event.

People can also help us by giving themselves extra time to get to the course, arriving in good time and limiting the number of bags and other items they bring along. They should also expect to undergo the normal security checks, including bag and transport searches.

Additionally, we will deploying Operation Exemplar, which uses a variety of other tactics, both highly visible and covert, using police officers and staff alongside other resources such as dogs, firearms, ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) and CCTV cameras. In doing so, we are enhancing our existing tactics by adopting the best practice developed within policing across the UK in order to help keep key sites and crowded places within Merseyside safe and secure.

We want to reassure communities that we are working together to keep everyone safe. We are confident that local businesses and the public will be reassured by this approach. They should know that they have a key role to play in all of this too. Their eyes and ears provide a surveillance resource that is second to none.