Police are calling on the community of residents and visitors at the Isle of Wight Festival to help keep the event an enjoyable safe experience for everyone.
A population of up to 75,000 people is expected in and around Seaclose Park in Newport between Thursday, June 9 and Monday, June 13, 2011.
Police are working closely alongside the event organisers and other emergency services to maintain public safety and prevent crime.
Isle of Wight Safer Neighbourhoods Inspector for the Newport area Terry Clawson said: “Tens of thousands of people in one place gives us similar challenges to policing any busy town or community. We’ll be using tried and tested tactics to help people stay safe while they have a good time in this festival neighbourhood over the next four days.”
CRIME PREVENTION AND PERSONAL SAFETY
“The festival campsite has been extended to accommodate more people so we hope everyone can continue to respect the relaxed reputation this event has established. We’re taking several measures to keep the risks and reports of thefts low.”
- Crime prevention lanyards will be distributed to festival goers who can use them to secure mobile phones and wallets to their bodies.
- Campers will be offered free biodegradable bags so they can secure any valuables.
- Officers will distribute lanyards and bags personally and take the opportunity to highlight crime prevention advice:
- Don’t keep all your cash together
- Protect your mobile phone
- Mark your property
- Camp near friends
- There is a 24-hour police campsite office next to the event security office on the ‘white one’ campsite.
- Police will be patrolling the campsites with event security stewards.
More crime prevention and personal safety advice is available on the Hampshire Constabulary and Isle of Wight Festival websites:
DON’T LET DRUGS RUIN YOUR LIFE AT THE FESTIVAL
Inspector Terry Clawson said: “We do not want people’s lives to be ruined by the dangers of drugs. Police continue to co-operate closely with the event organisers to intercept illegal and harmful substances.
“Our policy aims to avoid being obtrusive and confrontational. We offer advice and support through independent drugs counsellors to anyone at risk from substance misuse. This approach is recognised as best practice by other police forces.
“However, people should be warned they face arrest for carrying drugs, and anyone intending to supply drugs at the island’s festivals will be prosecuted.
“At the Bestival in September last year, a 22-year-old university student was caught by police with more than £2,000 worth of illegal drugs. She was jailed for three years in March this year. The sentence clearly had a devastating impact on her education, family and future prospects. We hope others will heed the warning about getting involved with supplying drugs at festivals.”
Inspector Terry Clawson added: “It’s also important to remember sales of so-called ‘legal highs’ are banned at the Festival. If reports of any sales are received, security stewards and the police will take action.”
The government’s minister for crime prevention Angela Browning wrote an open letter to organisers of major summer events last month (May 2011).
She said: “While people selling these products may give the impression they are legal and safe, they are more than likely not legal, and are certainly not safe. Anyone taking them is playing Russian roulette with their health, and if you are caught selling or buying them you could face arrest and prosecution. The festival season is one of our great summer traditions and we want people to enjoy it responsibly and without breaking the law.”
People caught trading in counterfeit wristbands will be arrested and face prosecution. A man received a two-year prison sentence in April 2009 for his role in a conspiracy to supply counterfeit wristbands at the 2007 Isle of Wight Festival. There were no reported problems in 2010, 2009 and 2008. The police welcome the continued use of increased security measures by the organisers.
POLICING THE REST OF THE ISLE OF WIGHT
Inspector Terry Clawson said: “The rest of Newport and the island will not be forgotten during the festival. There will still be adequate policing to respond to incidents elsewhere across the Isle of Wight. Officers and staff are already on patrols in and around Newport so the concerns of local residents can be dealt with swiftly and effectively.”
To report a crime, dial 999 in an emergency, or 101 for non-emergencies.
From outside Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, call police on 0845 045 45 45. Mini-Com users can call the police on 01962 875000. Information can be given anonymously by calling the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.