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Police warn possible Silverstone protest would ‘jeopardise lives’

Police have received ‘credible intelligence’ of a protest at Silverstone this weekend (Bradley Collyer/PA)
Police have received ‘credible intelligence’ of a protest at Silverstone this weekend (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Police have warned that lives could be put in jeopardy after receiving “credible intelligence” that protests are set to target Sunday’s British Grand Prix.

A record crowd of 142,000 are expected at Silverstone for one of the highlights of the British sporting summer, but local authorities fear the event could be disrupted.

“We have received credible intelligence that a group of protestors are planning to disrupt the 2022 Formula One British Grand Prix and possibly invade the track on race day,” Northamptonshire Police said on Twitter.

“We want to appeal directly to this group of people. We strongly urge you to not put yourselves, the drivers, as well as the many marshals, volunteers and members of the public, at risk.

“Going onto a live racetrack is extremely dangerous – if you go ahead with this reckless plan you’re jeopardising lives.

“Protesting is of course everyone’s human right in this country and we are more than happy to speak with you to help you facilitate a peaceful protest at the circuit, we just please ask that you do not create a situation that puts lives in danger.”

The British Grand Prix has been targeted before when former priest and serial protestor Neil Horan invaded the circuit, while Extinction Rebellion activists broke into the track at the behind-closed-doors 2020 race.

“We work closely with Northamptonshire Police and the emergency service agencies to put plans and procedures in place to ensure we are fully prepared to handle such situations,” said Silverstone managing director, Stuart Pringle.

“I am confident, under the lead of the Police, and with the pooled resources of our partners, that we can deliver a safe and secure event for the fans which remains our overriding priority.

“As is the case at every major event we must remain vigilant and ask all at Silverstone to act as our eyes and ears and report anything suspicious to a steward.”