County police turn attention to British Grand Prix

The sporting focus switches from Euro 2012 football to Formula 1 motor racing for Northamptonshire Police this week.

In a busy summer of major events, the majority of the officers and staff deployed in keeping the county’s streets safe during the European Championship football tournament will now be gearing up their preparation for the British Grand Prix.

The annual showpiece at Silverstone – which runs from July 6 to 8 – is now under a fortnight away.

And the nation’s largest weekend sporting event will once again present a traditional planning and resource challenge for the force.

Superintendent Sean Bell, the event commander for the British Grand Prix, said: “We have policed Silverstone for several years now.

“It is a massive event, attracting large numbers of people from all over the world to Northamptonshire for a week or so, and it always provides a number of challenges, not least around the planning of the policing operation.

“The planning challenge has intensified in this extraordinary year which has also required us to police a long list of major events in addition to Silverstone.

“We’ve had the Diamond Jubilee, Euro 2012 is still running, the Olympic Torch arrives in Northamptonshire next week and then we have the Grand Prix weekend and the Olympics to come.

“The British Grand Prix is the Force’s largest planned operation and it is one in which we are well practised. Through the cancellation of leave and rest days during this period, we are able to roster officers and staff in such a way that day-to-day policing is not affected.

“Our role is to ensure that all visitors to the event feel safe and secure, that residents of Silverstone and neighbouring villages are looked after and that traffic runs in and out of the event as smoothly as possible.

“The police and our partners within the emergency services, the local authorities and Silverstone itself work very hard on a year-long plan to make sure that the Grand Prix experience is enjoyable for everyone concerned.”