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We need blue line not white line.

Byline: STEAMING David Yates gets it off his chest

ALL EYES will be on Newbury today -- but not everyone will be watching the racing.

The last two Saturdays have seen vicious fights break out at Goodwood and Ascot, with graphic footage of the disorder spreading like a bush fire across social media.

BHA chief executive Nick Rust (right) condemned the scenes as "very disturbing" -- and the racing community will be anxious to avoid a hat-trick this weekend.

It is perfectly possible to stamp out this sickening trend before it takes a foothold, but it's going to cost money.

The answer is simple -- the police.

There is one very significant difference between a police constable and somebody who works for a private security firm.

The power of arrest.

The security operative can eject the troublemakers from the premises.

In most cases, the thugs hurl abuse and carry on with their punch-ups.

But it's another story when the police are brought into the equation.

In the case of an arrest for a serious public order offence, a court appearance is very likely to follow and, if guilt is established, a fine or even a prison term.

Details of the case are put into the public domain, with those employing the miscreants likely to take a very dim view indeed.

When the police are involved, the possible consequences -- loss of job, even deprivation of liberty -- should act as an effective deterrent. Alcohol inevitably plays its part in the disruption but cocaine is also a factor, so drug d l detection dogs must also be deployed on Saturdays and, as in some clubs, toilet cisterns greased to frustrate those seeking to snort 'a line' in cubicles.

Of course, police resources are stretched and their presence on racecourses isn't going to come cheap.

But the tracks have profited from TV rights deals and attendances have held up well.

Racecourses will have to spend some of that cash -- or watch as a large chunk of that customer base is frightened away by yobs.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 19, 2018

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