Epsom Derby: One man is charged and 30 released on bail for attempt to disrupt race


One protestor has been charged and 30 released on bail after attempts to disrupt the Betfred Derby at Epsom at the weekend.

One man managed to jump the fence before being tackled and handcuffed by police on the racecourse while the crowd jeered and booed.

Minutes later, a woman attempted to climb the fence but was pulled to the floor by police.

Police detain a protestor at Epsom before the Betfred Derby
Police detain a protester at Epsom before the Betfred Derby

Despite pledges by activist group Animal Rising to “cancel or severely delay” the Derby, the race continued as planned shortly after the protesters were carried away.

Observers described the situation as “ludicrous” and “absolute insanity” while others thanked police for putting a stop to the protests.

Pictures appear to show one protester being tackled on the track shortly before the race began.

A total of 12 people were arrested within the racecourse grounds, while 19 people were arrested over plans to disrupt the event. Across the weekend, 39 arrests were made in total.

Ben Newman, 32, of Homerton High Street in Hackney, has been charged with causing public nuisance. He has been remanded and is due to appear at Guildford Magistrates’ Court on Monday. Thirty others have been bailed and released pending further inquiries, Surrey Police said on Sunday.

Police liaison officers monitor the situation at Epsom
Police liaison officers monitor the situation at Epsom

Animal Rising had warned it would attempt to sabotage the event despite a High Court injunction.

Surrey Police said 11 people were arrested at addresses in Mitcham and Byfleet in the early hours.

Eight people were also arrested around 10.20am after a vehicle was stopped in Burgh Heath, just south of Epsom.

Chief Superintendent Clive Davies, who was in charge of the policing operation for the Epsom Derby, said: “Each year we look forward to keeping the public safe at one of Surrey’s biggest events. In our 24th year of policing the Epsom Derby, we are pleased to say we were able to do just that.

“I am incredibly proud of every single officer, staff member and volunteer who worked in the run-up to the event and at the event itself. They played a vital role in protecting the public and preventing and responding to criminality.

“This includes the officers and event security who put themselves in harm’s way when a man recklessly ran onto the racetrack during a live race. This criminal behaviour put lives in danger, including those of the animals, jockeys, security staff and our officers. The decisive actions of officers and event security meant they were able to quickly remove the man from the track, which kept everyone safe.

“We absolutely support people’s rights to peacefully protest, but we differentiate between this and unacceptable criminal behaviour.

Auguste Rodin battles past King Of Steel to win the Betfred Derby at Epsom
Auguste Rodin battles past King Of Steel to win the Betfred Derby at Epsom

Jockey Club promises action against protesters

The Jockey Club, which owns Epsom racecourse, has condemned what it calls “mindless actions” of protestors who attempted to disrupt the race.

Nevin Truesdale, chief executive of The Jockey Club, said: “Our security teams and the police acted swiftly and decisively to remove an Animal Rising protester who entered the racetrack after The Derby had started and while the race was being run.

“This reckless and illegal behaviour which threatened the safety of our equine and human athletes is a breach of the High Court injunction which The Jockey Club obtained last week and prohibits trespass.

Police presence at the Derby
The Jockey Club praised security and police for acting ‘swiftly and decisively’

“The court order provides a clear route to prosecution, fines and even the threat of prison for Contempt of Court and we will now take steps to enforce that.

“Animal Rising have repeatedly stated that they would not attempt to disrupt any races while in progress and we utterly condemn their deplorable and mindless actions today.

“The Derby was first run in 1780 and has continued despite two world wars, the COVID pandemic and a number of other extreme challenges.

“That the 244th running of the race was able to take place on time today is testament to the determination of everyone to stage one of British sport’s most iconic and loved events.”

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