Coventry & Warwickshire

Warwickshire Police scale back Bulldog Bash operation

Warwickshire Police has announced it will scale down its operation at the Bulldog Bash festival for a second year.

The four-day event is held every August at Long Marston airfield.

The force increased its presence after fears about tensions between the Hells Angels and rivals the Outlaws and the murder of a Hells Angel in 2007.

Although this year's operation will be more "flexible", the force said it is still opposed to the event going ahead.

In 2009, Warwickshire Police tried to have the event's licence revoked maintaining the event is used to fund organised crime.

'Disrupt criminal activity'

The festival features rock and metal acts and a quarter-mile drag racing strip.

Asst Ch Con Neil Brunton, leading this year's operation, said: "The Hells Angels are nationally recognised as an organised crime group and therefore Warwickshire Police remain of the opinion that Bulldog Bash should not be allowed to take place in Warwickshire.

"Our objection to the Bulldog Bash is about criminality and the need to protect the public in Warwickshire, across the UK and abroad from serious harm."

Two years ago, the police operation cost £600,000 and involved nearly 500 officers a day and last year about 400 officers and staff were involved.

Last summer, fewer road closures were enforced with the same approach being used this year.

A spokesman said: "Instead of static and permanent road closures, the operation will be more flexible and involve road closures and searches being carried out at undisclosed locations and times.

"This will maximise the opportunity to disrupt criminal activity using all available resources such as ANPR, stop and search powers, overt and covert policing techniques."

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