Two arrested outside Aintree Racecourse on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance
Two people have been arrested outside Aintree Racecourse on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance, ahead of the Grand National on Saturday afternoon.
A 25-year-old woman from London was arrested at about 11.20am on Saturday while a man was arrested around 30 minutes later.
Another woman, aged 33, from the London area, was arrested in the Greater Manchester earlier on Saturday in connection with potential co-ordinated disruption activities at Aintree racecourse.
A spokesperson for Merseyside Police said: “Merseyside Police has been working with The Jockey Club and other partners to keep people safe during the Grand National Festival.
“We are aware of some people planning to protest at the event. This has been factored into our plans. We respect the right to peaceful protest and expression of views, but criminal behaviour and disorder will not be tolerated and will be dealt with robustly.”
About 30 animal rights protesters gathered outside Aintree Racecourse ahead of the final day of the Grand National Festival.
Activists have said they plan to scale the fences and enter the track of Aintree Racecourse before the Grand National race begins.
Racegoers arriving at Aintree from the railway station are being greeted by animal rights protesters on one side and youngsters from dance group Ford Gems performing to raise money on the other.
Protesters, standing behind crowd barriers, include a man wearing a horse mask with a sign saying “Just Say Neigh” and a woman in a jockey’s outfit.
A number of security officers and police are also at the entrance to the racecourse.
Claudia Penna Rojas, from Animal Rising, said: “The reason we’re here today is first and foremost for these horses.
“We’re animal lovers, as I’m sure are most people here today, and we want to protect them and keep them safe and unfortunately with events like the Grand National and when we exploit animals in general for entertainment or for food we are putting them directly in harm’s way.”
She said the group would be demonstrating outside the course.
She added: “We will be slow marching around the perimeter and at some point we may peacefully try to make out way towards the track, again to prevent this race from happening because we know horses are being harmed.”
She said if activists did get onto the track it would not be while horses were running because they did not want to put them in danger.
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