Top cop responds to people's concerns and explains why horse fair near Wellingborough can go ahead

Northants Police says they have planned 'meticulously' with Public Health and Wellingborough Council to consider all eventualities

By Kevin Nicholls
Thursday, 27th August 2020, 11:31 am
Updated Thursday, 27th August 2020, 11:32 am
Authorites say the Bank Holiday horse fair is low risk — while pumping out reminders that Covid-19 cases are rising in Wellingborough
Authorites say the Bank Holiday horse fair is low risk — while pumping out reminders that Covid-19 cases are rising in Wellingborough

A leading police officer has explained why the horse fair near Wellingborough can go ahead this weekend after questions from members of the public.

Yesterday, a joint statement issued by local authorities last night revealed Northamptonshire Police, Wellingborough Council and Public Health Northamptonshire are powerless to stop the event from going ahead and the risk of infections are low as organisers expect only 150 people to attend.

But the statement prompted a large number of comments from members of the public questioning why this event could go ahead when other gatherings such as weddings, funerals and sporting events had tight restrictions.

Supt Dennis Murray, commenting on Twitter this morning, Thursday, said they have planned 'meticulously' with Public Health and Wellingborough Council to consider all eventualities and tailored the partnership response to meet those risks.

He tweeted: "To be clear on this large private site they could have several groups of up to 30.

"If that changes, public health would reassess.

"If the risk increases following assessment by public health then powers allow dispersal and issuing of fines.

"We will be working with partners throughout."

Supt Murray said the difference between this event and others was that it was being held on private land whereas events such as weddings and sporting events were public places.

His response came after a large number of people raised concerns about the numbers of people attending and why it was being allowed to go ahead following the statement by the local authorities.

Residents have voiced their concerns at the authorities' decision over the horse fair going ahead near Wellingborough this weekend.

Andrea Trueman, commenting on social media, said she was upset the event was going ahead when the area "was on the verge of a lockdown" due to a rising number of cases.

"We had to cancel our wedding because it could not ahead with no more than 30 guests," she said. "Football is back on also yet no public are allowed to purchase tickets. What makes this event so different ?"

And Paula Marriott posted: "Well, if that's the case I can hold my dad's wake? I've been waiting since April and it's been awful not to be able to have closure."

Lindsey Marie said: "They have no powers to stop the event? A wedding and a child's birthday party was closed down in other parts of the country! What powers did the local authorities use there?"

Pete Stephenson added: "Cobblers play Luton in a pre-season friendly on Saturday and no fans are allowed in. How is this any different?"

Earlier in the week and referring to the horse fair event, Chief Constable Nick Adderley also commented on Twitter, saying: "We will deal robustly with those breaking the law, causing damage to property and causing alarm and distress in the community.

"Extremely grateful for the work the team are putting into this."