EXTRA police patrols will be on duty throughout today, as York prepares for the busiest day of the year so far.

About 40,000 people are expected to visit York Racecourse today, while many more are expected to travel to the city for York City's friendly match against Middlesbrough.

York Press: Crowds at York Races

Large crowds are expected at York Races today

Sergeant Tim Craven said police would be out "in numbers" to ensure football supporters, racegoers, shoppers, residents and tourists are able to have a safe time in the city.

He said: "There's a plan in place, it will be policed as normal throughout the races and into the evening. It's a tried and tested plan, and it's worked previously, but there are obviously additional resources in place should any problems arise.

"We want to ensure people can do these things in safety and with the reassurance that the police are there to prevent any trouble, should that arise. There will be more officers than normal due to the fact that the races are on as well as the football and there will be additional resources in the city throughout the evening to prevent disturbances, problems, or public order issues."

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York City host Middlesbrough today at Bootham Crescent

Sergeant Colin Sutherland, of the force's football liaison team, said additional officers from Cleveland Police would be assisting with supporters, and about 2,000 football fans were expected.

He said: "It's a friendly, so it will be quite a good-natured event, and we have had nothing to suggest there will be any disorder. People will notice a larger than normal police presence, but there's nothing to worry about.

"Our primary role for the day is to ensure peoples' safety. We will identify, with the use of police spotters, any troublemakers very early on and direct resources to deal with them appropriately."

Sgt Craven said stag and hen parties should also expect to be asked to deflate any inappropriate inflatable items or have them seized by police, but said the force were not expecting too much trouble.

He said: "We're expecting people to behave themselves, attend York for whatever they are attending for, and go home without any problem at the end of the day, but there are plenty of police resources in place to deal robustly with any public order issues or criminality we're made aware of."