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Police gear up for exceptionally busy half term across Surrey and Sussex

News   •   May 21, 2019 11:30 BST

Next week’s half term is shaping up to be an exceptionally busy time for Surrey and Sussex with a large number of events taking place across both counties.

Surrey Police and Sussex Police will be working closely together to manage all the events which include the Surrey County Show on Bank Holiday Monday, Investec Epsom Derby Festival, Hells Angels Motorcycle Club ‘Euro Run’, Kemptown Carnival in Brighton, plus two all English football finals - the UEFA Europa League and Champions League – which will see lots of fans out enjoying the games.

Assistant Chief Constable Nev Kemp, who is leading policing operations for both Surrey and Sussex during this period, said: “We are approaching an incredibly busy time with lots going on and thousands of visitors expected across both counties.

“Public safety remains our first priority and we have been working closely with our partner agencies to prepare and put plans in place which ensure we can meet all the different policing requirements of these events whilst continuing to deliver day-to-day service.

“Officers from both Surrey Police and Sussex Police have had leave and rest days cancelled and, as well as local teams, we will have additional support from other forces so you can expect to see high numbers of police out on patrol responding quickly to any incidents.

“We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable time during this period. Residents and visitors should be in no doubt that any anti-social behaviour or criminal activity will not be tolerated and any reports will be dealt with swiftly.”

Whilst some of the events planned for next week are regular fixtures or have been held before, others are unique to 2019 - in particular the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC) ‘Euro Run’ which has never been held in the UK before and is being hosted here to mark the 50th anniversary of the HAMC in the UK.

This is a private, festival-style, event which attracts HAMC members from all over the world. The main event is being held at a hotel venue in East Surrey however organisers have advised it will culminate in a large scale ‘ride out’ of up to 700 motorcycles. We have now had confirmation that this will take place along the A23 from Pease Pottage to Brighton seafront on the afternoon of June 1 between 2pm and 4:30pm.

ACC Kemp said: “Although this is a private event, we expect the HAMC celebrations to have an impact on the local road network in parts of East Surrey and West Sussex as large groups of motorcyclists travel to and from the venue. The ‘ride out’ planned for the 1st June will also see several hundred motorcyclists riding in a large convoy which will cause some traffic disruption on the route down to Brighton and back.

“In the interests of public safety, police outriders will accompany the convoy and temporarily hold traffic at key points to keep them together and try to minimise the overall impact on other road users. However, on such a busy weekend, I would urge anyone planning to travel along the A23 stretch between Gatwick and Brighton that afternoon to allow extra time and consider alternative routes.

“As this an international event, we have been speaking to the organisers to ensure attendees are fully aware of the legal requirements for road users in the UK and that action will be taken against anyone committing a road traffic offence.”

Details of key events taking place w/c May 27 can be found below:

  • The Surrey County Show is the biggest one day agricultural show in the UK and attracts up to 30,000 people. It is being held in the 66 acre site of Stoke Park in Guildford on Bank Holiday Monday (May 27).
  • The Investec Epsom Derby Festival is one of the most prestigious national sporting events and the largest annual gathering of people in Surrey. It takes place at Epsom Downs Racecourse across May 31– June 1.
  • The Kemptown Carnival community street festival showcases local community groups, artists and musicians. It takes place in Kemptown in Brighton on June 1 and is expected to draw anywhere in the region of 30,000 people.
  • The Hells Angels ‘Euro Run’ is being held in the UK this year to mark the 50th anniversary of the HAMC in the UK. It is expected to attract anywhere between 2,000 – 3,000 members from across the world and takes place between May 30 - June 1.
  • The UEFA Europa League Final and Champions League Final take place on May 29 and June 1 respectively with both finals featuring all English teams for the first time.

For the latest on traffic and travel across Surrey and Sussex visit Traffic England and/or follow @HighwaysSEAST, @SurreyRoadCops and @SussexRoadsPol

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