News

Policing at Grand National on starter's orders with visit from PCC

Liverpool / April 04

The policing of the Grand National Festival was under starter’s orders yesterday with a visit from Merseyside’s Police Commissioner.

The policing of the Grand National Festival was under starter’s orders yesterday with a visit from Merseyside’s Police Commissioner.

Jane Kennedy visited Aintree on the first day of the three day festival to monitor how Merseyside Police’s Gold and Silver Command work at such a high-profile event.

During the behind-the-scenes visit, the Commissioner saw the multi-agency approach to managing such a large event. More than 33,000 people are thought to have attended yesterday’s racing day and that figure is expected to double on Ladies’ Day and on Saturday for the main Grand National race.

The operation at Aintree brings together Merseyside Police with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, the North-West Ambulance Service, St Johns’ Ambulance Service and the race course’s private security.

Jane Kennedy said: “I was really impressed to see the clearly very close working relationship between the police, the race course and all the other partners.

“It is apparent that through their hard work people living close to the race course experience minimal disruption, while tens of thousands of people get to enjoy a fantastic day out here on Merseyside.

During the visit, the Commissioner was able to talk to officers who were responsible for monitoring the crowds and the external security firm who took responsibility for managing the traffic. She was also given a bird’s eye view of the scale of the operation from the race course’s roof terrace.

The Commissioner was accompanied on the visit by her Community Engagement Officer for north Liverpool, Kim Dawson, and a young apprentice who has been working in the PCC’s office since January.

During the busy Grand National weekend, Merseyside Police have also been taking positive steps to ensure people stay safe and crime is prevented.

Over the course of the event, there will be extra police officers in the city centre and the Force has been giving out tips on how to enjoy the weekend safely.

Superintendent Mark Wiggins, said: "We know that this weekend will certainly be a busy time for our region's pubs, clubs and bars and we want people to come into our city and enjoy themselves. 

"There will be a large number of people in the city centre and we do not want any of them to become victims of crime. We want people to take responsibility for themselves; our messages to people coming into the city are - take some simple steps; keep your bags fastened and phones hidden, stay together and drink responsibly."