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Last Updated: Friday, 5 May 2006, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK
'Positive policing' of horse fair
Stow Horse Fair
There have been complaints of traffic chaos and mess in the past
Police are stepping up patrols in the Cotswold village of Stow-on-the-Wold as a biannual horse fair gets under way.

The event - a highlight in the Gypsy calendar since 1476 - takes place every May and October.

Officers have been working to police the fair better following complaints of nuisance, traffic chaos and mess from some local residents.

Police presence was increased on Friday in preparation for the main trading event next Thursday.

On that day, officers will be joined by colleagues from Warwickshire Constabulary and mounted officers from Thames Valley Police.

'Positive policing'

Ch Supt Dean Walker said they were taking a "positive policing" approach.

"Our high visibility approach to policing the biannual horse fair has proved a great success with both Stow residents and visitors," he said.

"The policing of May's event will mirror the good practices identified during previous fairs, while maintaining flexibility and the ability to respond appropriately to information and intelligence gathered before and during the fair period."

The county council has put measures in place to address the recurring fair issues of sanitation, parking and traffic congestion.

Grass verges have been built up and temporary posts put in place to stop vehicles parking on the lane by the fair field.

Reaction has been overwhelmingly positive to the steps taken last year to minimise the effect of the event on local people and their surroundings
Bob Austin, Cotswold District Council

The district council will provide portable toilets in the Maugersbury Lane car park and skips for rubbish will be placed in the entrance to the field and car park.

The authority will also carry out a clean-up of the area when the event is over.

Bob Austin, chief executive of Cotswold District Council said: "We have listened to feedback from residents about the October fair.

"Reaction has been overwhelmingly positive to the steps taken last year to minimise the effect of the event on local people and their surroundings."

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