Police officers in Northamptonshire are hoping the upcoming two-wheeled weekend at Silverstone turns out to be less eventful than this year’s four-wheel showpiece.
Senior officers admit the force’s best laid plans were “tested” by a track invasion and a serious assault during three days of the British Grand Prix earlier this month.
Another 155,000 race fans are set to flood into the county for the British MotoGP over the weekend of August 5 to August 7.
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Event commander Detective Superintendent Rich Tompkins said: “A huge amount of planning goes into both the Formula 1 and MotoGP events at Silverstone every year.
“Our plans were certainly tested at the F1 this time around with the track protest and a serious assault, resulting in more than 20 arrests being made.
“Thankfully, the plans we’d put in place, working alongside the circuit, quickly helped to resolve issues.
“I want to reassure the public that just as much time and effort will go into ensuring the MotoGP is similarly policed and, as occurred with the individuals who endangered not only themselves but others with a track incursion at Formula 1, we will do our utmost to bring offenders to justice.
“Spectators who come to watch the MotoGP tend to be really positive groups of genuine fans and we’re looking forward to ensuring they have a safe and enjoyable weekend at Silverstone this year.”
Protesters claiming to be from the Just Stop Oil campaign group skipped through security and sat on Silverstone’s 200mph Wellington Straight seconds after the start of the British GP.
Luckily cars had already slowed following a first-lap crash involving Alfa Romeo driver Zhou Guanyu.
Two men were remanded in custody at Northampton Magistrates’ Court and another four bailed after being charged with conspiracy to cause public nuisance during the Silverstone race.
All six are due to appear at Northampton Crown Court on August 19.
Detectives are also still investigating a brawl which ended with two people being taken to hospital on the Friday before the big race.
Four men who were arrested following the incident remain on bail.
Northamptonshire Police has policed major events Silverstone for many years now. Meticulous planning goes into these events every year and the security measures put in place are as stringent as ever.
Specialist assets such as undercover and armed officers, Automatic Number Plate Recognition units, and specialist trained dogs will work alongside police staff, specials and volunteers inside and around the track across the MotoGP weekend.
DS Tompkins added: “The public can also help us keep the event safe by being vigilant for anyone or anything which looks out of place or suspicious and reporting it to us on 101 or in an emergency 999.
“We would rather receive a well-meaning report which turned out to be nothing, than not receive anything at all.”
Diversions and a one-way system on surrounding roads will also be in operation to help fans get into and out of the circuit quicker.