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Policing UK Bikers – Into the Twilight Zone!!!

August 8, 2009
Not the Bulldog Bash but a British Bulldog!

Not the Bulldog Bash but a British Bulldog!

Stratford-Upon-Avon, England – Will the UK police ever get the policing of the biking community sorted?

Well if this weekends Bulldog Bash, probably the biggest event in the UK biking calendar, is an example of how to police biking events the answer is an emphatic NO!

History – The Bulldog is held annually at Long Marston Airfield near Stratford-    upon-Avon, Warwickshire. An ideal venue as its location causes very few problems to locals. Now it’s a fact that in general there is little, if any, trouble at UK biking events. I can only recall one incident of potential problems, the Magna Carta Rally in 1998, when following threats of violence at the event the police shamefully refused to take any action to safeguard the right of visitors to attend the Rally.

Fast forward to the 2009 Bulldog. Warwickshire police force has spent more than £1 million and hired officers from five neighbouring constabularies to carry out stop and searches on everyone entering the event. Not to mention the speed checks, bike checks and number plate recognition systems on the five main entry routes to the site. I’m inclined to agree with the organisers who believe that the police action is ‘completely unnecessary’ and ‘discriminatory’ or even the comments of one casual observer who suggested that the £1 million may be better spent catching some of the alleged 760,000 foreign nationals currently in the UK illegally. Which everyway you cut this it smacks of a police state or at best a personal crusade against the event by Warwickshire polices Assistant Chief Constable Bill Holland.

The situation is made even more bizarre by the fact that Warwickshire County Council licensed the event and that Peter Barnes, the chairman of Warwickshire County Council, opened the rally.  Amid a deafening roar of engines, Barnes accused ACC Holland of wasting taxpayers’ money and went on to say. “the police have overreacted, the rally brings great benefits to the area’s local economy.”

If stuff like this continues I really will believe that the British Isles have floated off to some weird twilight zone where it’s impossible to get anything at all joined up.

Of course, and for the conspiracy theorists amongst us, all this police hassle could part of a considered effort by the UK authorities to keep the fairy tale going that all bikers are bad a**e crooks.

© Back Roads Rider 2009

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