Touts operating outside Aintree’s Grand National could soon be banned and fined after police recorded a “significant increase” in scalpers at the festival over the past four years.

The proposed changes, brought to a Sefton Council consultation, would make it an offence to tout tickets around the racecourse at the Grand National meeting in April.

Councillor Paulette Lappin said that it is expected the plans would “curb this unpleasant practice.”

Lappin, the cabinet member for regulation and compliance, said, according to the BBC: “Touts can be intimidating and their behaviour may cause distress” to the public and race-goers “during what should be a completely enjoyable experience.”

Merseyside Police and The Jockey Club have both been vocal about the “ongoing issue” of ticket touting at the Grand National.

The council said it believes instituting a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) “would protect the public from anti-social behaviour arising from ticket touting”.

The order, which would ban scalping within a nominated area, could be implemented in time for April’s festival.

Anyone caught selling or advertising tickets in a PSPO area could face a £75 (€86/$98) fine and be required to leave for up to 24 hours. A breach of such an order would mean a fine of up to £1,000.

The consultation will run until 10 March.

Image: Stacey MacNaught