POLICE will be out in force when the Bulldog Bash returns to Stratford next week.
Warwickshire Police have made no secret of their opposition to the annual biker festival at Long Marston Airfield. The Hell’s Angels organised event returns from August 7 to 10 after a year off.
There will be an increased police presence around the site in the run up to, during and following the event. This will include an ANPR (Automatic Number Plat Recognition) operation to identify any vehicles wanted in connection to crime or which are untaxed.
There will also be a mobile police station at the entrance to the site for people needing help or wanting to report a crime.
Ch Insp Ian Whiting said: “As is often the case at large events, we will have extra officers in the areas surrounding the event in order to ensure the safety of those attending the event and local people.
“If people have any concerns around the event I would encourage them to speak to one of our officers. If anyone would like to report a crime or suspected criminal activity they can call 101 to access our non-urgent reporting line or 999 if it is an emergency.”
High profile policing of the event, which has previously cost as much as £1.4 million, has been criticised as excessive by organisers.
But police chiefs have always argued the event brings its own risk as were highlighted in the murder of Gerry Tobin in 2007.
Hells Angel Mr Tobin was shot dead on the M40 while riding home from the festival. Seven members of the rival Outlaws biker gang were later jailed for the killing.
But despite police concerns, the event has passed largely without incident since then.
The Bash has been held at Long Marston Airfield since 1987, and over the years has raised thousands of pounds for local charities.
Police are also warning people roads around Stratford are likely to be congested.