Peterborough council insurance claim after £135k Great Eastern Run loss

Cambridgeshire Police will not conduct an internal review into its handling of an incident which led to the cancellation of the Great Eastern Run on Sunday.

Saturday, 19th October 2019, 1:00 pm
The Great Eastern Run had to be cancelled because of a serious police incident

The half marathon, arguably the city’s most important event of the year, was halted at the last minute after armed police were called to a perceived threat in Alexandra Road, North ward, which turned out to be a false alarm.

Despite calls for the force’s top rank to reveal more about the incident, including rumours of a bomb scare, senior figures are staying tight-lipped, with a police spokesman saying yesterday that: “We will not be commenting further as there is no further information to add.”

Police have admitted that the armed response followed a 999 call, with a spokeswoman saying on Monday that the witness was “acting in good faith but this is thought to have been misinterpreted”.

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Police in Alexandra Road

The force has also confirmed it will not conduct an internal review into its response after it was called to Alexandra Road at around 9.50am.

A total of 4,100 competitors were unable to take part in the 13.1 mile run on Sunday, as well as four in the wheelchair race which was also halted, although the Anna’s Hope 5k fun run did go ahead. The runners who missed out on raising money for charity or setting personal best times have been offered a refund or automatic entry into next year’s race.

Peterborough City Council said it stands to make losses of £135,000 from the cancellation, but that it has event cancellation insurance and is currently progressing a claim.

Cabinet member Cllr Steve Allen, meanwhile, called for the public to be told more about the circumstances surrounding its cancellation.

The main race was cancelled

He said: “I’m sure at some stage the police will be more forthcoming - we would all like to know what actually occurred to make the member of public make the call.

“But at this stage I’m confident the police and the race organiser did the right thing.”

Race organiser Jon Marsden said on Sunday that he was “shell shocked” by what had happened, but that runners had been “extremely understanding”. As well as the police advice, other considerations were leaving the runners to stand around in the heavy rain and a guarantee that road closures would be lifted by 2pm.

Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite said he had “received reassurance from the Chief Constable” over the police response to the incident.

The main race was cancelled

A spokeswoman for the crime chief added: “The decision by the police not to release any further information about what happened is for them to make.”

Cllr Allen said he hoped the widespread coverage of the race’s cancellation might actually convince more people to take part next year.

The main race was cancelled