A safer race week in Cheltenham

Police say there was a big fall in violence in Cheltenham during race week.

Violent incidents in the town centre fell by 48% reduction, compared to the figures from March 2009.
This year saw a number of initiatives launched to keep trouble down, 12,000 people had a crime prevention message sent directly to their mobile phone from Gloucestershire Police, Street Pastors were out during the event for the first time and taxi marshalls were also armed with body CCTV, the picture above shows how they were able to capture evidence.
Inspector Richard Boyles says:

“The number of people attending the Races was higher than ever this year, which means more people out socialising in the town, but we’re very pleased to be able to say that this year we had fewer incidents of violence and disorder in the town than previous years.”

“We believe that the reduction of these offences is thanks to our successful partnership working with Cheltenham Racecourse, the Cheltenham Community Safety Partnership, Diageo, the Cheltenham Street Pastors and local businesses.”

The number of police officers in the town during the festival was increased by an extra team this year. This meant eight extra officers were patrolling the streets to both prevent and detect crime.

This proved particularly beneficial in one particular incident. On the second day of racing, Wednesday March 17, a bag of cash was stolen from a bookmaker. The offender ran from the scene when he saw a number of police officers approaching him and immediately gave himself up. All the money, approximately £1900, was then returned to the bookmaker and the 37-year-old Birmingham man was arrested and given a formal caution.