POLICE chiefs have thanked Chester racegoers for their good behaviour after officers made just 14 arrests over the three-day May Festival.
Around 60,000 peopple descended on the city from Wednesday, May 10, to Friday, May 12, for the first racing event of the season at Chester Racecouse.
Previous occasions have been marred by anti-social behaviour and violence, but Cheshire Police said punters made this year’s festival “one of the best-behaved and safest racing events in the city”.
Officers were out in force to ensure it was observed in a “good-natured manner”, the force said. The operation forms part of the Street Safe initiative, which is tackling issues linked to public space violence, anti-social behaviour and the night-time economy.
Over the three days, officers made no arrests at the racecourse. As they stepped up patrols in the city centre during the evening, they made 14 arrests over three days – mainly for public order offences such as drunk and disorderly and anti-social behaviour.
Superintendent Peter Crowcroft, the force’s commander for the three days at Chester races, said: “Thousands of racegoers from all over the country descended on Chester to enjoy the racing, which from a policing perspective, was one of the safest we have had, with no arrests being made at the racecourse.
“Throughout the three day event, we made sure the races ran smoothly by ensuring racegoers were drinking responsibly but ultimately were enjoying themselves safely.
“I’m happy to say there continued to be a positive atmosphere throughout with everyone enjoying the good weather and having a brilliant time. I want to thank the community for their patience and to all those who attended the races for their good behaviour and helping to make it a peaceful event.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire Police, David Keane added: “I’m pleased Chester races ran smoothly and everyone had an enjoyable, safe time in the sunshine without any major incidents taking place.
“This was a big event for Chester and it was important racegoers were able to enjoy themselves safely and that officers were on hand to put a stop to any anti-social behaviour to protect our communities.
“I want to say a huge thank you and well done to all our officers and support staff for doing such a good job.”