Police hail festival a success after drop in crime

NAWN 1108261 Leeds Festival. (1108261AM7)
NAWN 1108261 Leeds Festival. (1108261AM7)

Police have paid tribute to music fans after the biggest ever Leeds Festival also saw a reduction in crime.

Thousands of festival-goers braved the mud, rain and gale force winds over the bank holiday weekend to see their favourite bands play live at Bramham Park.

NAWN 1108261 Leeds Festival. (1108261AM6)

NAWN 1108261 Leeds Festival. (1108261AM6)

The festival attracted a record 75,000 revellers each day yet crime figures fell to 107 at the end of the festival compared with 123 following last year’s event- a reduction of 13 per cent.

The majority of the reported crimes related to thefts from unoccupied tents.

There were 26 arrests this year, mainly for possession with intent to supply class A and B drugs.

Despite the large numbers of people attending the site the revised traffic plan, which was refined following its implementation last year, helped to reduce traffic jams.

Insp Marcus Griffiths, of Wetherby Police, said: “In terms of the effect the festival had on local residents, I think the impact was very little and barely noticeable overall.

“Figures are down on reported crime this year and the mood inside the ground was very good. The security staff did a great job and it was very well managed.

“The traffic system worked very well again this year, and although it was a very muddy one, the wind quickly dried out the worst affected areas.”

As reported in the Wetherby News last week, officers from Wetherby Police joined the Environment Agency, Vehicle and Operator Services Agency and HM Revenue and Customs to run checks on traders and their vehicles entering the festival.

Checks took place on more than 350 traders and 200 vehicles, with a number of motorists being issued with notices and fines. Several were also fined for using red diesel.

Insp Griffiths said there had been just a couple of complaints about noise from Bramham and Scholes residents, however, music guidelines inside the festival were followed and found to be within the limit at all times.

Chief Superintendent Andy Battle, who lead the policing operation for West Yorkshire, said: “Bramham Park once again played host to the Leeds Festival this year.

“It is now a nearly a decade since its arrival here and whilst the weather may have dampened the ground it didn’t seem to affect the spirit of the festival-goers.

“The hard work put in by the festival organisers together with West Yorkshire Police ensured the good-natured atmosphere carried on throughout the weekend.”

“Our detailed planning and preparation helped to reduce crime and minimise traffic disruption and I would like to thank all those whose hard work ensured this year’s festival was such a success.”

Meanwhile, in a major clean up at the privately-owned Bramham Park, abandoned camping equipment was collected by Leeds-based charity, Everything is Possible, with around 60 volunteers clearing the site and collecting items to sell.

The charity, which helps young people facing problems such as homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse and educational problems, was in charge of a major clean-up to remove tents, sleeping bags, wellies, food and cooking equipment left behind by revellers.

On Tuesday the recovered camping items were available to community groups for a small donation, with a number of items going on sale to the general public earlier this week in Hunslet, Leeds.

What were your thoughts on the festival? Let us know by emailing wetherby.news@ypn.co.uk