POLICE have warned they will confiscate alcohol if they find people drinking in the street during
POLICE have warned they will confiscate alcohol if they find people drinking in the street during Henley Royal Regatta.
Up to 60 officers will be on duty by the river and in the town centre during the five-day event.
Police will use section 35 powers to remove people from an area for 48 hours if they are causing a nuisance.
Last year, 35 arrests were made in the town during the regatta, compared with 15 in 2014 and 26 in 2013. The majority were for public order and minor offences.
Ch Insp Graham Hadley urged visitors to drink responsibly and to consider how much alcohol they take with them to the event.
He said: “In previous years, a lot of the public order offences have, unfortunately, been alcohol-related and I’d like to make people aware that we can, and will, confiscate alcohol from anyone found drinking in the streets.
“We do not want people to bring vast amounts of alcohol with them and we can confiscate large amounts of alcohol.”
All venues on the Berkshire bank of the river will close at midnight while in the town centre the Catherine Wheel pub and Magoos bar in Hart Street are the only nightclubs that will stay open after midnight. Some pubs will also remain open and be managed by security staff.
In the run-up to the event, the police have worked with councils on both sides of the river, in addition to licensees, other emergency services and transport agencies.
Assistant chief constable Nicola Ross, who is in charge of the policing the regatta, said: “People come to Henley to enjoy the rowing and the atmosphere and we’re always happy to welcome them to our town around the regatta.
“It’s one of the highlights of the year for Henley and our role is to keep disruption to a minimum and make sure that antisocial behaviour doesn’t prevent our visitors and residents from having a good experience.
“We want people to have a good time and we want to facilitate that while keeping them safe.”
The number of officers on duty in Henley during the regatta will vary over the five days but there will be 60 officers deployed when the town is at its busiest.
Ch Insp Hadley warned residents and visitors to expect traffic congestion. He said: “As always, we’d advise drivers to check their vehicles prior to leaving for the regatta and to carefully follow the appropriate signs to the allocated car park.”
The owners of illegally parked vehicles could face a penalty notice and their vehicle could be removed.
There will be no road closures during the regatta but there is a one-way system that operates from 8am until midnight around Remenham which feeds into the official car parks. This system changes direction at 4pm.