Mounted Police back in Cheltenham for race week

Published on 9th March 2012

Four jockeys in colourful silks racing astride their horses.

Those socialising in Cheltenham town centre during race week will see horses are not just appearing at the racecourse this year.

Following on from the success of last year, mounted police officers will be out and about in the town centre throughout race week (Tuesday March 13 to Friday March 16).

The horses and their officers will help police the town centre at night to provide additional reassurance to the large numbers of visitors as a result of the festival.

Cheltenham Community Safety Partnership (CCSP), which comprises of Cheltenham Borough Council, Gloucestershire County Council, Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue, Gloucestershire NHS, and Gloucestershire Constabulary, is joining up with race week sponsors Diageo GB and Nightsafe (a partnership of local licensees) again this year, as part of a drive to promote responsible drinking.

Nightsafe, Fever Bars, Mid Counties Co-op and Diageo GB will be funding the two police horses as part of their commitment to help keep people safe from harm.

This is just one of several measures being adopted by the Partnership to help the week’s festivities pass off safely and remind people of the importance of safe and sensible drinking.

Inspector Tim Waterhouse is responsible for policing in the town centre, he said: “The CCSP’s approach is an excellent example of cooperation that sees us all working together to ensure that Cheltenham remains a safe place during this busy time for us all.  This is a great support to all the work police will be doing.”

Gloucestershire Police will be deploying additional officers in Cheltenham during the evenings throughout the Festival to ensure visitors and residents can enjoy themselves in a safe environment.

“Our priority is to make sure that both those visiting the town enjoy all Cheltenham has to offer,” Insp Waterhouse added, “and those who live and work in the town are caused as little disruption as possible.”

Visitors to the Cheltenham Racecourse carrying mobiles are being encouraged to turn on their Bluetooth facility, as a text-messaging service will be in place again this year.

15,000 free maps of Cheltenham town centre are available from Cheltenham Spa Railway Station, pubs, local hotels and local restaurants.

The map will help visitors find useful locations such as the train station, bus stops, private hire and taxi pick-up points, and provides a list of numbers of private hire and taxi companies from Cheltenham and the surrounding areas.

Race-themed, eye catching extra large posters will be displayed around the town reminding visitors that they can help prevent crime by looking after their valuables.

Cheltenham Racecourse has fully backed the ideas and will also be displaying crime-reduction messages on TV screens across the racecourse (including the big screen) between races and incorporating some reminders in the race cards.

Additional taxi marshals will be in operation at the Promenade taxi rank during the evenings throughout the week and they will again be wearing CCTV cameras to deter problems and capture any disorder at close hand.

Cheltenham Street Pastors are also assisting, and will have extra teams out on Friday and Saturday night. They will be helping to supply bottled water to those in need. 

Trevor Gladding, the Community Protection Manager for Cheltenham Borough Council said: “We are delighted that the drinks industry and Nightsafe are working closely with us again this year, helping us emphasise the importance of safe and sensible drinking.  Cheltenham Races is an extremely busy time for the town.  More than 50,000 people are expected to attend each day of the event, many of whom end up visiting the town centre.  We want to make sure all visitors have a safe and enjoyable visit whilst keeping the disruption to local residents and business to a minimum.”

Visit our information page about race week.