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Grand National ticket touts face ban from Aintree festival

The Grand National at Aintree Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Grand National meeting attracts thousands of race-goers to Aintree

Ticket touts could be banned and fined for operating outside Aintree's Grand National meeting in April.

A Sefton Council consultation has begun after police recorded a "significant increase" in the number of touts at the festival during the last four years.

The proposed changes would make it an offence for touts to sell tickets near the racecourse at the Grand National.

It is hoped the plans would "curb this unpleasant practice", Councillor Paulette Lappin said.

Ms Lappin, the cabinet member for regulation and compliance, said "touts can be intimidating and their behaviour may cause distress" to the public and race-goers "during what should be a completely enjoyable experience".

'Protect the public'

Ticket touting at the Grand National has been identified as an "ongoing issue", with Merseyside Police and The Jockey Club both expressing their concerns.

While the general resale of football tickets was banned in 1994 because of safety fears over the possibility of rival fans mingling together, it is not illegal to resell tickets for other sports or entertainment events.

The council believes creating a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) "would protect the public from anti-social behaviour arising from ticket touting".

The order, which would prohibit the sale of tickets within a designated area with the exception of the official organiser, could come into force in time for April's festival.

Anyone caught selling or advertising tickets in a PSPO area could face a £75 fine as well as being required to leave for up to 24 hours.

Anybody breaching such an order would be liable to a fine of up to £1,000.

The consultation will run until 10 March.

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