Friday, 06 August 2021

Thirty-five arrests as crime rises during royal regatta

POLICE chiefs say they are ?very happy? with policing at this year?s Henley Royal Regatta despite a rise in the number of arrests.

POLICE chiefs say they are ?very happy? with policing at this year?s Henley Royal Regatta despite a rise in the number of arrests.

There were about 35 arrests during the five-day event, with the most common offences including drunk and disorderly behaviour, theft, assault and public order offences.

At last year?s regatta there were 15 arrests in the town over the five days, as well as 23 reported crimes. The 2013 regatta saw a total of 26 arrests up from 25 in 2012.

Meanwhile, several people in the town centre and towpath were also issued with section 35 orders, preventing them from returning to Henley or the regatta site for up to 48 hours. If they breached the order, they could be arrested and charged. The orders are typically given for drunkenness or public order offences.

More than 70 officers were on duty for this year?s event, patrolling the regatta site and towpath as well as Henley town centre. The busiest day was Saturday, when tens of thousands of people descended on the town. There were long queues outside pubs in the town centre, while pop-up bars on the regatta towpath reported attendances of more than 2,000 people.

Inspector Mick Greenwood, who led the operation on the Berkshire side of the river, said: ?From a policing point of view it went very well, the majority of people behaved themselves.

?We identified problems early on and dealt with them before they could escalate. Most of the arrests took place on Saturday and for relatively minor offences.

?Our plan was to deal with issues early and if we arrested people for minor drunkenness or public order offences that could help prevent more serious offences later on.?

At about 12.05am on Sunday, a 20-year-old man was taken to hospital with a fractured eye socket after an attack in Mill Meadows. He was approached at about midnight by a man who demanded he hand over his bag before pulling him to the ground and hitting him.

The attacker, who is aged between 18 and 25 and was wearing light coloured trousers, a dark top and a light-coloured baseball cap, then ran off with the bag, which contained a laptop computer, speakers and a hard drive.

Chief Inspector Jim Templer, commander at the regatta, said: ?I am very happy with how the operation was carried out.

?Although we are still in the initial stages of collating the crime figures for the event, early indications are that overall crime has increased slightly this year, with most offences and arrests alcohol-related on Saturday.?

He added: ?Planning for the 2016 Henley operation will start again in the next few months and we will include any learning from this year?s event.?

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