Page last updated at 10:02 GMT, Tuesday, 11 May 2010 11:02 UK

Police prepare for historic Stow-on-the-Wold horse fair

Stow fair October 2009
The event, held every May and October, attracts hundreds of visitors

Police have begun stepping up patrols in Stow-on-the-Wold in the run up to the biannual horse fair on Thursday.

The event, held every May and October since 1476, brings in hundreds of visitors, travellers and Gypsies.

Officers have worked to improve policing after some residents complained of nuisance, litter and traffic chaos.

Maugersbury Road car park will be shut till Friday to ensure Maugersbury Lane remains clear of vehicles and traders.

As well as the usual extensive clean-up arrangements, Cotswold District Council is providing a specialist cleaning crew on Friday morning.

And as a safety precaution, a team of two will operate on the day of the fair, collecting glass bottles which are deposited in Stow Square and on Sheep Street.

Ch Supt Gary Thompson said: "Keeping people safe from harm is the focus of all operations surrounding events in the county.

"We are also present to offer reassurance to both local residents and visitors."

Councillor Barry Gibbs said: "As each year goes by, we see an improvement in the joined-up working behind the scenes.

"Hopefully, this will result in yet another peaceful and well-managed event."

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