One man has been charged and 30 people have been released on bail following disruption by animal rights protesters at the Epsom Derby this weekend.

Out of the 31 arrested on Saturday, 19 of them were detained in the morning over plans to disrupt the event.

The remaining 12 were arrested within Epsom Downs racecourse during the festival also in connection with planned criminal activity, Surrey Police said.

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 tomorrow.

One of the protesters was a man who ran on the track during a race but was swiftly rugby tackled by officers and hauled off the track, avoiding further disruption to the race.

Two women were also removed by officers moments before they were able to get onto the track, Surrey Police said.

Eight more arrests were made across the weekend for other offences including affray, assault and sexual assault.

It was one of Surrey Police's biggest operations at the annual Derby involving firearms specialists, intelligence, and drone operators.

Chief Superintendent Clive Davies, 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."

Mr Davies distinguished "people's rights to peacefully protest" against "unacceptable criminal behaviour" alluding to the man who "recklessly" ran onto the course.

He added: "This criminal behaviour put lives in danger, including those of the animals, jockeys, security staff and our officers."

Read more:

17-year-old boy who died off Bournemouth beach named by police

Manchester City serenade Sir Elton John at airport after FA Cup final win

Yesterday, Louise Hilwood, a spokeswoman for Animal Rising, told Sky News: "Someone did make it onto the track today and that's a huge success - not only because they got on the track, but because we managed to start this national conversation about what happens, not only to racehorses, but to animals throughout many industries, including our food system."

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. 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."

2023-06-04T17:31:48Z dg43tfdfdgfd