In excess of 160,000 people pass through the gates at Silverstone Circuit on race day at the Formula 1 British Grand Prix last year, taking the total to over 400,000 over the whole race weekend. With thousands more attending the MotoGP Grand Prix, policing these events, and keeping racegoers safe is a challenge for Northamptonshire Police.
Police presence at the race
As one of the biggest sporting events in the UK, the Grand Prix is a huge policing operation, and in recent years has become even bigger. No longer is it just a motor race - the British Grand Prix has expanded into a four-day long festival, with headline music acts playing on the main stage every evening and non-stop entertainment in all corners of the circuit. As such, policing these events brings about a whole new challenge.
We work around the clock Thursday to Sunday to ensure a safe, friendly, and crime-free environment, and deploy a large number of personnel to the circuit including, police officers, firearms officers (both overt and covertly armed), detectives, dog units, volunteers, and more.
There are proactive patrols in the campsites, car parks and surrounding villages, and we mount a significant Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) operation, ensuring that all roads into the area and around the circuit are covered. We check thousands of vehicles in order to deter criminals from entering the site. Alongside this, a separate traffic operation is run, in partnership with the Highways Agency, to ensure the roads around the circuit run as smoothly as possible.
Despite Northamptonshire Police taking overall command of the British Grand Prix operation, the south end of Silverstone Circuit and the Woodlands campsite stretch across the Northamptonshire border into Buckinghamshire. As such, we are assisted by our colleagues from Thames Valley Police, as well as from other forces around the country.
All our officers on site, and in partnership with the circuits’ own security personnel, focus on creating a safe and enjoyable environment for all by:
Preventing crime and disorder
Reassuring the public through a visible presence at key locations
Ensuring a swift and proportionate response to escalating threats and incidents where necessary
Crime is low at these events but we encourage all racegoers to take a moment to read through our safety advice and crime prevention tips before you leave. You can help us keep the event safe by reporting anything suspicious to any of our officers at the circuit, or by calling 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
You can keep up-to-date with what’s happening leading up to both the Formula 1 and MotoGP British Grand Prix’s by following our Twitter and Facebook. You can also keep updated with our current news stories about the British Grand Prix below.