Police sniffer dogs to be in operation at Doncaster Racecourse for St Leger Festival

A team of six drugs dogs will be working at Doncaster Racecourse this week as the annual St Leger Festival returns.

Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 14:17 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 18:05 pm

In total, around 60 officers will be on duty each day as officers run a major operation alongside racecourse bosses to keep things safe at the venue, where the St Leger Festival is running from Wednesday to Saturday.

More officers will be on duty on the Saturday of the main St Leger race, with police from all over South Yorkshire working at Town Moor during the four day operation.

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Supt Paul McCurry, head of operational support at South Yorkshire Police, was brought up in Doncaster and is a fan of the festival, which he and reckons is a major date on the Doncaster calendar.

But he said it represented a big operation for the police to make sure it is safe.

He said: “To me, the St Leger is absolutely fabulous. But it’s a large site, with very busy roads around it which add complications to policing it as people arrive and leave.

“We will have a couple of our firearms vehicles there all day to deter any threat against the event, and we will have passive drugs sniffer dogs to deter any people from bringing drugs into the event. They can detect of someone has had contact with drugs.

“The aim is to search 100 per cent of people to deter anyone from trying to bring in weapons or drugs, and there will also be dogs that sniff out explosives.

“The racecourse staff will be searching people, but we will have officers there to support them where they are doing that. If they need assistance with a search, for instance if they think they’ve found something illegal, we will have people with them there to deal with it.

“We pride ourselves in having a drug-free event in Doncaster. This is the third year I’ve been running the operation here.”

The Leger festival starts on Wednesday (September 11). Thursday is ladies’ day, with former Spice Girl Mel C performing a concert after the racing finishes. Friday is gentlemen’s day, with former Kaiser Chiefs singer Ricky Wilson on stage at the end of the day.

The World’s oldest Classic, the St Leger Stakes, is run at 3.35pm on Saturday September 14.