Police step up patrols in York

Police are preparing for a busy Saturday in York (library picture)

Police are preparing for a busy Saturday in York (library picture)

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by

EXTRA police will be on patrol this Saturday to cope with bumper crowds in the city.

Saturday will see thousands of visitors to the Macmillan Charity Raceday at York Racecourse, which runs from 11.15am, and then England's first match in the football World Cup will be shown live in pubs and bars around the city late at night.

The match kicks off at 11pm, prompting concerns that some people visiting the races and watching the football could spend up to 13 hours drinking, leading to potential trouble.

Chief Inspector Alisdair Dey, of York Safer Neighbourhood Command, said police were prepared for York city centre to be very busy on Saturday.

He said: "Extra officers will be on patrol to ensure that those enjoying the events in the city remain as safe as possible.

"If you are going out in the city centre on Saturday, I urge you to drink responsibly and to respect those around you."

James Brennan, head of marketing at the racecourse, said the venue would not remain open to allow football fans to watch the match, but encouraged visitors to behave responsibly during and after the races.

He said: "We will have our usual provisions, very strictly controlled on the licensing side by City of York Council, and challenging 25 for the youth drinking side.

"We will have on site a number of police officers that we wholly fund, about 24, coordinating into the wider Operation Lancelot, part of the safer city policing partnership around big events. In addition to that, we will have about 380 stewards of different types, including security, and throughout the afternoon we will be putting up messages about responsible drinking."

Stu Weston, who runs the Knavesmire pub, said landlords would use common sense, but he felt the events were too far apart to be too much of a concern.

He said: "I've a feeling the races are too early and the match is too late. In my experience, generally, most race day stragglers are gone by about 9pm.

"I wouldn't let someone come into the pub if they were falling about so I'm not going to let them watch the football just because it's the World Cup. Like any other day when you run a pub. If someone's too drunk or aggressive, they aren't welcome. That's how we work it really, and hopefully it will go without incident."

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