It’s not just race horses at Aintree this weekend, the Merseyside Police Mounted Section are there too and they are giving you the opportunity to learn bout the incredible work they do, and they even have a selfie stand!
Formed in 1886, Merseyside Police Mounted Section is the oldest of its kind. Today, it’s an integral part of the Operational Support Unit, based at Greenhill Road, Allerton. Each member of the Merseyside Police Mounted Section is a qualified Animal Welfare Professional and many have had a life-long association with equine welfare.
The job of a Mounted Police Officer is incredibly varied and all Officers are highly trained qualified riders who undergo weekly training and annual requalification.
The main duties of the Mounted Police include policing large-scale events within Merseyside, such as the Liverpool International Music Festival, football matches at Liverpool, Everton and Tranmere FC, rugby matches at St Helens and or course the Grand National Festival at Aintree. Another important part of our job is patrolling the city centre on a Friday and Saturday night to keep the public safe.
We spoke to Danielle from Merseyside Police who told us all about the #StandTall campaign, keep your eye out for them all weekend at Aintree. You can find out more and find out about the campaign here.
Merseyside Police is giving a warm welcome to the thousands of visitors heading to the Aintree festival this week and offering advice to make sure they have a great time and enjoy the event safely.
Despite the attendance figures, the festival has an excellent record of deterrin crime and anti-social behaviour and the force has been working with the racecourse and the Jockey Club, local councils, Mersey Travel and other partners to plan the event with public safety as a priority.
As a result, racegoers should expect to undergo a series of security checks, including bag and transport searches and badge checks. Only pre-booked vehicles will be allowed onto the Aintree site and there are restrictions on parking around the course which will be rigorously enforced.
Police Commander, Superintendent Louise Harrison said: “Year upon year, the Aintreefestival is a fantastic occasion and a real opportunity to showcase everything great about Merseyside. It continually attracts hundreds of thousands of people- and TV viewers- from across the world and I have no doubt that this year’s festival will be no exception.
“We want people to have a safe and enjoyable time and make sure their day at the races is memorable for all the right reasons, so we are offering some tips and advice to ensure everybody’s day out runs smoothly.
“Racegoers can help us by giving themselves extra time to get to the racecourse, arriving in good time and limiting the number of bags and other items they bring into the course. They should also expect to undergo the normal security checks, including bag and transport searches and badge checks. Only pre-booked vehicles will be allowed onto the Aintree site and there are restrictions on parking around the course which will be rigorously enforced.
“Co-operating with the security staff will ensure the queues are kept to a minimum and people can be in their places in plenty of time for the first race. The security checks are there for everyone’s benefit and the more co-operative and patient people are, the quicker the security and ticket staff can get people in.
“Merseyside Police constantly reviews its staffing levels for any large-scale public events and as per normal racegoers can expect to see high visibility policing across the three days of the event.
“There will also be a visible armed presence again this year, and I want to reassure visitors that this is not in response to any direct threat aimed at the festival but just as reassurance for the thousands of people who will come through the gates over the three days.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to ask racegoers to spare a thought for local residents, who accept the huge numbers of people visiting the area with very good grace every year. We ask that visitors show them the same courtesy and treat the area with respect. Officers on duty will be taking a common sense approach but I want to make it clear that anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.
“Throughout the three days, staff and officers from the mounted section will have their own stand at the course dedicated to our ‘Stand Tall’ campaign, launched to generate support to keep police horses on our streets. Racegoers are encouraged to come and say hello and learn more about the campaign. We’ll have our giant wings which make a great photo opportunity and the police horses will be visiting at regular intervals.”
If you are heading to Ladies Day tomorrow check out our ultimate guide to all of the action here and there are limited tickets available when you arrive too. plus don’t forget to enter this year’s Style Award – all the info on that here.
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