ARMED RESPONSE officers will be on hand to deal with any trouble at Royal Ascot this year, following a controversial few months for the racing industry.

In May, a race meet at Ascot was marred by crowd violence, just a week after mass fights erupted at Cheltenham.

The incident left two people requiring treatment for head injuries.

To combat any potential trouble at the historic race meet this year, police have allocated armed officers to help guard the Royal Family, and the 300,000 visitors expected to attend.

Strategic commander for the policing operation, Assistant Chief Constable David Hardcastle, said "We are all looking forward to policing this great event again. Aside from our duties protecting the Royal party, the public have come to expect a strong security presence at prominent events and occasions; and people should be reassured and not alarmed by the security measures that are being put in place.

"We are working closely with our partners to protect the public, and as such, you should go about your day as normal and enjoy this prestigious event. The public provide our additional eyes and ears and I ask them to support my officers and racecourse security by remaining vigilant, keeping their belongings with them and reporting anything suspicious or unusual to staff or by calling 101."

"The Neighbourhood Policing team in Ascot will be an integral part of our operation and will ensure the priorities of the local community are acted on, as normal, during the week."