CHESHIRE Police will increase their presence over the next few days to ensure that residents and racegoers are safe during a busy racing weekend.

Thousands of visitors are expected to descend on the city centre for the latest race days at the historic Chester Racecourse.

Extra patrols will be seen throughout the city and a dispersal order will be put in place during this time to help support the operation and prevent anti-social behaviour.

The dispersal order will allow officers to ban anyone from the town for up to 48 hours to prevent disorder.

It has been imposed under Section 34 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, making it an offence for anyone to return to a specific area for up to 48 hours.

The powers are in place from 11am Friday 30 June to 11am on Sunday 2 July.

Inspector James Wilson said: "The races are a big draw to the city centre and we want everyone to enjoy their time in Chester, whether that’s as a racegoer, resident or business.

"That’s why we’ve an increased presence in the area and have put this order in place. I want to be clear that issuing dispersal orders is not officers ‘taking this behaviour lightly’, in fact, these orders allow us to take robust action.

"These orders are additional tactical option that allow us to deal with anti-social behaviour head on.

"A number of officers will be out in key areas, patrolling around the city and I would urge anyone with any issues concerns to come and speak to us.

"I also would urge residents and businesses to continue to report any issues with anti-social behaviour so that we can address these issues."

Anyone with information about anti-social behaviour in their area is urged to contact Cheshire Police via the Cheshire Police website or call 101.