POLICE are urging anyone going to this weekend’s Henley Regatta to stay vigilant to crime and go easy on the alcohol after officers issued ten alcohol-related orders on the first night.
Thames Valley Police have stepped up patrols for the famous Royal Regatta to ensure the popular festival of rowing goes without a hitch.
On the first day of competition on Wednesday, police issued ten Section 27 orders, which give officers powers to move people on from a particular spot or confiscate drinks if they fear an alcohol-related offence might occur.
Two arrests were made on day one - one for criminal damage at a Henley pub and another for assault.
And a man reported having his wallet stolen from his trouser pocket.
Supt Rory Freeman, Silver Commander for the operation, said: “Our policing operation for this year’s Henley Royal Regatta has started well.
“As we move into the next few days of the Regatta we will continue to maintain a presence on site as well around the town throughout the day and evening, to make sure visitors attending the Regatta have a safe and enjoyable experience.
“We are lucky to be experiencing some excellent weather and we advise anyone drinking alcohol, to do so responsibly and have plenty of water to remain hydrated.
“I would like to remind people that we have a Designated Public Place Order in place covering the Regatta area and large parts of Henley town. The designated areas will be clearly signed.
“Officers will have the power to stop people drinking alcohol and to confiscate alcohol in people’s possession. They will do so where those people are behaving, or are likely to behave, in an anti-social way.
“We will also be using powers to exclude such people from the Henley area for up to 48 hours where we believe their presence is likely to contribute to alcohol related disorder.”
Officers will use Twitter and Facebook to provide regular updates about how the Regatta is going, the policing operation and any other relevant information.
The annual Regatta kicked off its first day of competition on Wednesday, with races along the famous Thames route culminating in finals day on Sunday.
Thousands flock to the Oxfordshire town every year for the biggest competition in rowing, which attracts the top names in the world sport, as well as celebrities and royalty.