British Transport Police will be helping to enforce Merseyrail’s dry trains policy on Tuesday for Southport’s annual Orange Lodge march.
The event traditionally sees large numbers of people pack trains across Merseyside for the march and BTP officers will be helping to ensure passengers enjoy the day safely by assisting Merseyrail as it implements its no alcohol policy.
Inspector Adrian Yorston, who is leading the planning for BTP for the event, said: “We want people to be able to enjoy the march but be aware that we will be patrolling the Merseyside rail network to help keep passengers and rail staff safe.
“Alcohol is a contributing factor to many violent and anti-social incidents we deal with which is why it is vital that anyone attending the event and planning to travel on the rail network abides by the rules and does not carry alcohol onto the trains.
“There will be the option to leave any bottles or cans of booze behind before boarding the train, but anyone who thinks they might get round this by consuming excessive amounts before their journey should be aware that they will need to make alternative travel plans – anyone deemed too drunk will be refused travel. Put simply; surrender your booze or miss the train.
“Please also bear in mind that other people who aren’t attending the march will be using the rail network who want to enjoy a peaceful journey – keep your behaviour in check.”
We have been working closely with partner agencies Merseyside Police and Merseyrail in the run up to the event to ensure that plans are in place to keep vistors safe and robustly tackle any incidents of anti social behaviour.
Officers will be deployed at a number of key stations and we will also have a uniformed presence on many of the trains travelling to and from the event to reassure the public, support rail staff and enforce the booze ban.
Insp Yorston added: “We are well practiced in policing this event and have been working hard during the past few months to put robust plans in place. Prompt action will be taken against anyone who engages in criminal behaviour. I would urge everyone to save 61016, our text service number to their phones. It’s a really useful way to report crime discreetly when you can’t make a call. Obviously in an emergency you should always call 999.
Useful tips from BTP if you’re travelling to Orange Lodge
• Ensure you have a valid ticket – many can be purchased in advance to avoid queuing
• Confirm train times and connections before travelling, giving yourself plenty of time to catch a train
• Wherever possible avoid openly carrying or displaying valuable items such as mobile phones or iPods
• Be wise to potential pickpockets. Keep purses and wallets close to your body and out of sight
• If you drink, don’t over do it, and don’t carry any open bottles on the trains or at stations
• Keep any luggage in view – check it regularly and be extra vigilant when the train stops at stations
• Secure your belongings. Don’t leave wallets or purses in your coat hanging on a hook
• Never leave laptops, mobile phones or any electrical equipment or valuables unattended
Remember BTP officers will be on hand across the rail network and any crime or suspicious behaviour on the railways should be reported to BTP on 0800 40 50 40 or by text on 61016.
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