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Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Out in force: sniffer dogs and extra police greet Newbury racegoers

A sniffer dog in action at the entrance to Newbury
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Newbury's beefed-up security presence was visible to all on Lockinge day as racegoers got a taste of the procedures put in place to avoid the ugly scenes that blighted Goodwood and Ascot in recent weeks.

A 50-man brawl at Goodwood two Saturdays ago was a shocking sight on track, and violence again broke out at Ascot last weekend with two groups of men involved in a fight, although not on the same scale as Goodwood.

All eyes were therefore on Newbury, with officials at the track taking additional measures to try and prevent any unsavoury incidents.

Course head of communications Harriet Collins said on Saturday lunchtime: "There’s a police presence here today. There’s extra bar spotters and there’s an increased number of security here and an increased number in high-vis jackets.

Covert security at Newbury

"We also decided a while ago we wouldn’t be showing the FA Cup Final later. We want the day to go well for the industry as well as us. Staff are handing out water as well and we’ll be pushing that all day."

As well as trying to ensure there is not excessive alcohol consumption, sniffer dogs are being deployed to deter drug use.

Collins added: "I haven’t had anything reported but the situation would be that if something was sniffed out the person would be taken aside and told there’s an amnesty bin over there and then it’s up to them what they do. That’s the whole point of having the sniffer dogs."

We want the day to go well for the industry as well as us. There will be staff handing out water as well and we’ll be pushing that all day

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