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Grand National: Police investigate 'large-scale' fight after Ladies Day at Aintree

The Independent logo The Independent 06/04/2019 Adam Forrest
a group of people standing in front of a crowd © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited

A “large-scale” fight broke out between racegoers and at group of youths following Ladies Day at Aintree, police said.

Officers were called to Copy Lane, a mile from the racecourse on Friday night following reports a gang had confronted people attending the Grand National – resulting in a huge brawl.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of affray but has since been released under investigation, as Merseyside Police continue to study video footage of the violence.

Superintendent Dave Charnock said: “This kind of violent disorder in a public place will not be tolerated and we are currently examining CCTV and video footage and following a number of lines of inquiry to identify those responsible.

“A dispersal zone has been put in place to tackle anti-social behaviour and high-visibility patrols will be stepped up in the area over the weekend.”

One witness told the Liverpool Echo the black-clad youths, one armed with a wooden bat, had “targeted” the racegoers near the former Old Roan pub.

“They were all in black like a pack mentality. It made me physically sick. They targeted visitors to our city.”

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson condemned the violence and appealed to parents for help identify the “yobs” involved.

“If anybody knows who is responsible then we need to apprehend them and deal with them quickly,” he said. “This is criminal behaviour, they are just yobs ... I think we need to ask parents if they know where their kids are and what they are doing.”

Superintendent Charnock said the anti-social behaviour dispersal zone meant any group of people gathering in the areas of Old Roan to Warbreck Moor over the weekend could be moved on.

“Despite this incident occurring away from the racecourse, the actions of individuals involved have tarnished what was an otherwise fantastic day for racegoers and we will continue to pursue those responsible and put them before the courts,” he said. “I would ask anyone who witnessed the incident or has any footage to contact us.”

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The Grand National 2019 in numbers

Prior to the fight, police had praised racegoers for their behaviour on Ladies Day as thousands descended on the world-famous racecourse for the second day of the Grand National Festival.

Only two arrests were made on the course on Friday, with one man held on suspicion of possession of counterfeit currency and another arrested on suspicion of a public order offence.

Anyone who witnessed the disturbance on Copy Lane, has any dashcam or video footage or any information is asked to contact MerPolCC ON 101 or CrimestoppersUK.

Additional reporting by PA

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