Police say people arrested at Grand National were from as far afield as Glasgow and Kent

1604 Aintree akt
118 people were arrested Credit: PA

Merseyside Police say the 118 people arrested on Saturday 15 April at Aintree were men and women aged between 18 and 66, and came from as far away as Kent, Southampton, London, Essex, Swansea, Falkirk and Glasgow.

They were arrested on suspicion of a number of offences including conspiracy to cause public nuisance, obstructing highways and possession of controlled drugs.

Of the 118 arrests, 65 people were taken into custody and are being processed and will be bailed pending further enquiries.

The start of the Grand National was delayed by 14 minutes after a number of protestors got onto the racecourse.

Activists say they wanted to prevent harm from coming to horses in the Grand National. Credit: PA Images

Animal Rising spokesperson Nathan McGovern said in a statement on Sunday: "Five have been released thus far and 42 were de-arrested and turned out on to the street by police. No one has been charged at this time.

"The actions taken at Aintree yesterday aimed to prevent harm from coming to horses in the Grand National, with Hill Sixteen sadly falling in the race itself - a death that would have been prevented if the race had not been run.

"Supporters of Animal Rising do not take the risk of arrest lightly, but taking action to protect animals and nature is more important than upholding business as usual.

"This is just the start of many peaceful actions to really create a national conversation about our fractured connection with animals and our natural world this summer, whether they result in arrests or not."

Protesters on the track at Aintree. Credit: PA Images

The protesters breached security fences as National runners were in the parade ring, causing a delay of 12 minutes, although racegoers helped police and event organisers to stop some from reaching the track.

Assistant Chief Constable Paul White said: "The Grand National race was temporarily delayed for a short period of time while officers dealt with protestors who attempted to gain entry onto Aintree racecourse, and this was across the whole site which covers an extensive perimeter of around 5km which in parts is open land.

"As you can understand, the safety and wellbeing of everyone is of paramount concern when dealing with large-scale public events such as this, and this includes those who are protesting.

"To put into perspective, it is estimated that around 70,000 visitors attended the Grand National and the event went safely with an enjoyable atmosphere despite the short interruption from protestors.

"We had a robust plan in place to deal with incidents, and as such our officers and security staff were able to quickly deal with the situation in a safe and appropriate manner.

"It is also important to add that we respect the right to a peaceful protest and expression of views, but criminal behaviour and disorder will not be tolerated and sadly this is what took place at yesterday’s event in an attempt to disrupt the race which resulted in the arrests."

Mr White continued: "I would like to reiterate our sincere thanks to members of the public for not only their patience but also their support while we dealt with the protestors.

"Our continued gratitude also goes to mutual aid officers from Greater Manchester Police, North Wales Police, Cheshire Police and Durham Police and our partners at Aintree racecourse, security providers and the Jockey Club for their assistance on the day."

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