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Added: Monday 11 July 2011
Please note that this is archived material and may not necessarily reflect the current position of Northamptonshire Police
Early indications are that crime figures were halved during the three days of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
While the figures are currently being finalised, fewer than 20 crimes had been booked on by the time the chequered flag fell on Fernando Alonso’s win in the Formula One showpiece.
Against a backdrop of 300,000 spectators in attendance at Silverstone over the weekend – 122,000 on raceday itself – the reduction in crime at the event is exceptionally pleasing.
The spectator numbers aside, a number of other significant challenges to the policing plan presented themselves as the event unfolded.
But Chief Inspector Sean Bell, the event commander, was delighted with the outcome and paid tribute to the organisation and teamwork of police and partners across the field.
Chief Inspector Bell said: “We will know by the middle of the week the total number of crimes recorded at the event.
“But the early indications are that crimes were halved in comparison to last year’s event and that is extremely pleasing when you consider the huge numbers who came to Silverstone to watch the racing.
“A number of arrests were made, in the main related to alcohol-influenced issues, but we pride ourselves on the fact that Silverstone has now been a low-crime event for several years.
“There were a handful of thefts on the campsites but overall our crime prevention messages and high-visibility patrols had the desired effect.
“Traffic in and out of the circuit by and large ran smoothly, not withstanding pinch points at certain times down to the sheer volume of traffic vying for limited road space.
“The event could not run in the way that it did without the dedicated contribution and team working from all the partner agencies who work with the police at the circuit.”
The policing plan this year had to factor in the new facilities at Silverstone, notably the new Wing pit and paddock complex built in a different part of the circuit.
The novelty factor of the Wing attracted great interest from spectators and VIP visitors and crowd control around the new complex was a key part of the plan.
Silverstone this year boasted two heliports and heightened security measures in light of Prince Harry’s arrival at the circuit on the morning of the race.
And Silverstone’s plan to allow spectators onto the track at the conclusion of the Grand Prix kept the police planners on their toes right up to the start of the race.
Chief Inspector Bell added: “There were a number of challenges to be overcome this year and all required considerable planning both before and during the event.
“The circuit’s decision to allow fans onto the track came quite late in the day and we had a look at it to ensure it was aligned with other aspects of the policing plan and that public safety was assured.
“This is likely to become a feature in future Grands Prix at Silverstone and, if this is the intention, we will take account of this aspect in next year’s planning for the event so as to ensure that as many people as possible can watch the podium celebrations comfortably and safely.”