A MAN was arrested and given a formal caution by Police for attempting to pass a forged £20 note as payment during the first day of the Cheltenham Races.

There were also three reports from racegoers of pickpockets circulating in the area as the festival got underway yesterday.

Gloucestershire Constabulary has reminded those due to visit the races this week of some simple crime prevention advice to keep themselves and their property safe.

“In terms of policing, the day overall has been very calm. There have been no reports of disorder and people have been entering into the spirit of the races and having a good time,” said Inspector Tony Fisk.

“Thanks to the vigilance of staff at the Racecourse this fake note was spotted and has been taken out of circulation.”

Inspector Fisk added: “It is unfortunate that we have had some complaints of pick pocketing, we don’t want to see the fun and excitement of race week tarnished by the few out there that may try to take advantage of the situation and as such we are encouraging racegoers to keep following the crime prevention advice.

“Keep your cash in a secure and discrete pocket, never leave bags unattended at any time and refrain from keeping money, and even bank cards, in back pockets of jeans or trousers as these are easily accessible to seasoned thieves.”

During the day members of Animal Aid carried out a protest at the main gates to the Cheltenham Racecourse. This was done peacefully with no need for police involvement.

Meanwhile, police are also reminding racegoers to use the advised routes into the Racecourse when they are travelling to the course for the remainder of this week.

Inspector David Collicott from the Road Safety and Traffic Management Department said: "We were pleased that there were no major problems on the roads this morning and hope that today’s racegoers have a safe and pleasant journey home this evening.

"We would like to encourage those attending the Racecourse tomorrow to use the main routes to the course, which are all well signed, and request that drivers follow the direction signs and any indications given by Police Officers or stewards."