Keeping Cheltenham safe and moving during race week

Published on 8th March 2019

cheltenham festival, horse racing

Race week takes place from 12 to 15 March 2019 and measures are in place so that it runs smoothly.

Working together

Cheltenham Borough Council, Gloucestershire Constabulary, SOLACE, Gloucestershire County Council and other agencies will be working in partnership again this year to keep Cheltenham safe, moving and clean as over 50,000 people per day descend on the town for the Cheltenham Festival.

Smooth traffic flow

To make sure that traffic flows smoothly in and around Cheltenham, the borough council will be working closely with the county council’s highways team. Traffic orders will be in place as previous years and full details about the traffic changes have been published.

Checking taxi activity

Enforcement officers will check for any illegal taxi activity around the train station and taxi meters will be checked in response to complaints about overcharging and refusals to take short fares. They will also make sure that unlicensed taxis do not compromise the safety of residents and visitors.

Licensed venue inspections

Council and police staff will be busy doing all the alcohol venue and lap dancing club inspections to make sure they are adhering to rules and regulations.

Clamping down on ticket touts

The council in partnership with the police will continue its operation to crack down on ticket touts who are selling race tickets.  The behaviour of the touts has over the years become increasingly aggressive particularly towards the end of the week when they are under pressure to sell their tickets. 

Sexual violence awareness

This year will see the launch of a poster campaign led by the council, Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse centre and Crimestoppers, which aims to ensure that everyone is aware that behaviours involving any unwanted sexual contact or harassment like grabbing, groping, rubbing, pinching are sexual violence crimes.  If someone experiences this type of behaviour, they should call 999.

Councillor Steve Jordan, leader for Cheltenham Borough Council said:  “As always, we want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable time throughout the festival.  Cheltenham welcomes an incredible amount of visitors to the town during race week so it remains a top priority for us to work closely with our partners to make sure everything goes smoothly.

“Sexual violence, alcohol consumption, littering and ticket touting are areas of concern so our officers will be working hard with our partners to raise awareness and where necessary, clamp down on this type of activity.”

Chief Inspector Marcus Griffiths:  ‘’As is standard practice we have been working with the racecourse and partner agencies to prepare a proportionate policing operation for the festival.  Officers will be at the racecourse and in the town centre each evening to help ensure a safe environment for racegoers and the local community.  The vast majority of those coming to Cheltenham enjoy themselves responsibly but anyone who experiences any issues or concerns while in the town during the festival are encouraged to approach one of our officers.’’


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