Keep you valuables on you, secure your tents and be prepared to queue: Northamptonshire Police has issued advice to British Grand Prix goers this morning as the four day festival of speed gets in full swing.
Around 330,000 fans are expected to enjoy the Formula One racing at Silverstone Circuit over the weekend, with qualifying taking place tomorrow and the race itself on Sunday.
But with the population of a city descending on the south of Northamptonshire, the event also brings with it a spike in crime.
On the Friday evening of the event last year there had already been seven thefts reported, two arrests for drugs possession, two assaults and one man arrested for possession of a bladed article.
Superintendent Mick Stamper, who is leading the policing operation at Silverstone over the weekend advised circuit-goers to keep valuables on them at all times.
He said: “Crime figures do go up over the Silverstone weekend. Usually there are very few people that live here and then over the race weekend there are more than a hundred thousand people.
“There are a few things we would advise - first of all be vigilant and alert us to anything that looks out of place.
“But also take responsibility - keep your valuables with you, don’t leave them in your tent.”
Northamptonshire Police has set up a command centre at the circuit for the weekend.
The centre will see police work with other emergency services, the Highways Agency, local authorities, Silverstone Circuit officials and event stewards to keep punters safe.
More than 100 officers will be situated in the campsites and round the spectator areas of the circuit. An armed police unit is also stationed at the event.
Superintendent Stamper said that while light queuing is expected on the roads around Silverstone and the A43 over the course of the weekend, Sunday evening will see the biggest tailbacks.
He said: “On Sunday evening everyone is trying to go home - so what I say to people is if you are coming to the Grand Prix, you are going to sit in a traffic queue so just be ready for that and be patient.”
- The A43 is closed to through traffic from 7am to 9pm on Friday and Saturday and from 6am to 9pm on Sunday.
- One-way system will be in place between Towcester and Welsh Lane (B4525) during these times.
- The one-way system may be lifted between 11:30am and 12:30pm, during these days for local access.
- Stagecoach service 88 is the only bus service affected on Friday and Saturday.
- Service 88 will continue to operate between Northampton, Towcester, Brackley and Bicester but will NOT serve the villages of
Whittlebury, Silverstone or Syresham.