TICKET touts are being warned that illegal street trading will not be tolerated ahead of Chester Racecourse’s first meeting of the season.
As final preparations are made for Wednesday’s (May 4) race day, police and council licensing and trading standards officers said they are planning a similar operation to one carried out last year, which resulted in nine successful prosecutions with fines and costs averaging £900.
Sergeant Ian Stead, from Chester Inner Neighbourhood Policing Unit said: “Plain clothes officers used concealed microphones to gather evidence against people offering tickets for sale illegally. The touts really had no alternative but to admit the charges. They were also held in custody after being arrested, which disrupted their activities on the day.”
Sgt Stead added: “Most of the people involved are organised touts who come in from Warrington, Merseyside and Greater anchester. They are out to make money and this means some of the tickets may be stolen or be invalid in other ways. Some have already been used and had the counterfoil ripped off. They obviously won’t be accepted at the gate, but someone who is going to the races and buys the ticket from a tout won’t necessarily know that.
“We would warn people about that risk. The truth is that if you buy a ticket from a tout you may have simply thrown your money away.”
Chester racing season begins with the three-day May Festival from Wednesday (May 4). This year improvements have been made to ensure equal access for all.
Three new taxi bays have been provided within the racecourse, which will enable taxi drivers to pick up people with disabilities during racing and immediately after the races have finished.
Provided that a blue badge can be shown to the taxi driver and to racecourse stewards, taxis will then be assisted out of the racecourse to rejoin the flow of traffic.