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  • Grand National: Police To Deploy Undercover Officers To Prevent 'Significant Disruption'

Grand National: Police to deploy undercover officers to prevent 'significant disruption'

Undercover officers will be deployed as part of Merseyside Police’s plans for the three-day Randox Grand National Festival.

Last year’s race was disrupted by protesters from the Animal Rising group, with the world’s most famous steeplechase going off nearly 15 minutes late after people made their way onto the track.

That group has stated it has no plans to repeat those actions this year, but Merseyside Police has warned it will deal “robustly” with any incidences of “anti-social behaviour, hate crime, disorder and other criminal activity”.

Racegoers have been warned to expect a series of security checks, including bag searches and badge checks, with Merseyside Police having worked alongside Aintree’s owners the Jockey Club in formulating their plans.

Superintendent Matthew Moscrop said: “As ever, we are expecting a large number of visitors to Aintree, and it is another prime opportunity to showcase what Merseyside has to offer.

“As with all big events, a considerable amount of planning from all partner organisations has been done in the run up to the three-day festival to ensure everyone who attends has a great time, and that it is memorable for all the right reasons.

“There are a number of plans in place to deal with any incidents that may arise and to prevent any significant or ongoing disruption to spectators and local residents and businesses.

“Anti-social behaviour, hate crime, disorder and other criminal activity will not be tolerated and will be dealt with robustly. If you see someone acting suspiciously or committing a crime, then please speak to an officer on patrol or contact us directly.

“I would also ask visitors treat the area with respect and to consider local residents who live around the racecourse.

“Visitors can help the organisers and themselves by allowing 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 searches.

“We will be deploying Project Servator officers in uniform and plain-clothes. These officers are specially trained to spot the tell-tale signs that someone may have criminal intent, such as gathering information that may help them plan or prepare to commit a crime.

“These deployments will appear at any time in and around the area of the racecourse, but the public should not be alarmed by this. Officers will be encouraging racegoers to help us make this a safe and enjoyable event by being our extra eyes and ears and to report anything suspicious to us.”

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