Page last updated at 17:15 GMT, Monday, 10 August 2009 18:15 UK

Police Bulldog fight 'to go on'

Bikers arrive for the Bulldog Bash (pic: Rui Vieira/PA Wire)
Police had tried to have the licence revoked

Warwickshire Police have pledged to continue trying to stop an annual event organised by the Hells Angels, despite it passing off peacefully.

Organisers said more than 23,000 people attended the Bulldog Bash, which the force tried to stop - citing possible violence between rival biker gangs.

Chief Constable Keith Bristow said the police operation had succeeded in protecting those who attended.

But Bulldog Bash organisers said they had run the event safely for 23 years.

Police tried to have the event's licence revoked, citing concerns about "heightened" tension between the Hells Angels and a rival gang, the Outlaws.

They feared tension following the murder of Hells Angel Gerry Tobin after the event in 2007 and a riot at Birmingham Airport last year.

Police 'relieved'

However, a district council committee dismissed the application and the event at Long Marston airfield, near Stratford-upon-Avon, went ahead at the weekend.

But Mr Bristow said the force would continue to explore all legal opportunities, both criminal and civil, to stop the annual event.

The accounts have always been available for inspection because they are lodged with Companies House
Bulldog Bash spokesman

He said: "While the policing operation did result in a number of arrests, I am relieved that no one was killed or seriously injured this year as a direct result of having attended this event."

Police said there were 11 arrests at the event and nine lock knives were surrendered.

Mr Bristow was highly critical of the Hells Angels and said the group should "open its books" and show where money raised at the event ended up.

He said: "If its funds are used purely for the lawful benefit of its members and for charity and social good, why don't the Hells Angels open their accounts to scrutiny and reassure us of their intentions?"

But a Bulldog Bash spokesman said the accounts were all above board and in the public domain.

"It's ridiculous. The accounts have always been available for inspection because they are lodged with Companies House," he said.

He added organisers ran a "well-regulated show" for the public which this year had raised £10,000 for Help for Heroes, the event's nominated charity which supports soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.



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