Tuesday, 26 October 2021

150 police for regatta

UP to 150 police officers will be deployed in and around the town during this year’s Henley Royal Regatta.

This is the same number as last year when Thames Valley Police doubled the number of officers on duty following terrorist attacks in Manchester and London.

Most of the officers will be patrolling the town centre and the towpath along the River Thames during the week with the largest number on Saturday night when the event is at its busiest.

Extra security measures were introduced last year, including armed officers at the regatta site and others with sniffer dogs patrolling the riverbank as well as a high-speed police boat on the water.

These are expected to be repeated this year.

Regatta chairman Sir Steve Redgrave has told members of the stewards’ enclosure to expect extra security measures, including searchess by dogs..

He said: “These extra measures are being implemented following a security review by the regatta alongside Thames Valley Police and other relevant specialists to ensure the highlight of the rowing calendar is as safe as possible.

“There will be extensive search procedures, including the use of search dogs, and you will again notice an increased police and security presence throughout the site and in the vicinity.

“The safety of all visitors is paramount.” Police will be able to use section 35 powers to remove people from an area for 48 hours if they are causing a nuisance.

The force will be working with councils on both sides of the river, licensees, the other emergency services and transport agencies.

All the venues on the Berkshire bank will close at midnight while in Henley town centre two nightclubs and some pubs will stay open after midnight with security staff on duty.

During last year’s event there were 36 recorded incidents, including two alleged rapes, thefts, burglaries and criminal damage. A total of 15 arrests were made.

A one-way traffic system will operate this year from 8am to midnight around Remenham, changing direction at 4pm.

Henley Bridge will be closed from 9pm to 11pm next Saturday for the annual fireworks display.

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