Stay safe while busting moves at the V Festival – that’s the message from Essex Police as the two-day event approaches.
We want everyone going to the festival at Hylands Park to have a smashing time but please watch out for the small minority who come to spoil your fun.
This year we’ve teamed up with organisers of the festival on Saturday, August 18 and Sunday, August 19, 2012 to encourage visitors to look after their valuables.
Last year there were more than 90 thefts at the festival so we’ve come up with a video to show what can happen if you don’t keep your phone, camera, wonga and other expensive goodies safe.
The video, featuring groovy mover Sue and a sneaky thief, will be shown on big screens at the festival.
Around 90,000 people are expected to visit the festival each day and experience tells us that while the vast majority come to the festivalto have a good time, a small minority come to sell drugs and steal.
Officers will be patrolling Hylands Park on foot and pedal bike during the two-day event and won’t tolerate those who set out to spoil it for others by committing crime. Those who do could find themselves locked in a cell on our prisoner van.
Anyone planning to go to the festival on Saturday, August 18, 2012 or Sunday, August 19, 2012 is encouraged to take note of safety messages in the run up to and during.
As in previous years we have a dedicated section on the Essex Police website giving safety advice, travel information and tips on how to keep your belongings safe and avoid ticket touts. This can be found at www.essex.police.uk/festivals along with the video which is also on the Essex Police You Tube channel www.youtube.com/essexpoliceuk
In the run up to the festival, Essex Police will be giving festival goers advice about keeping themselves and their belongings safe using:
Officers will be on patrol throughout the day and night but festival goers are urged to leave anything valuable such as smart phones, blackberries, expensive cameras and ipads at home.
Visitors who feel the need to carry a mobile phone are encouraged to put their sim card in an old handset and leave their new phones at home. If you do have to bring any valuables, never leave them unattended and make sure you use the lockers on site.
Essex Police will be working with the Essex Drug and Alcohol Partnership (EDAP) throughout the festival. We will be taking positive action against anyone found in possession of drugs, drugs dogs will be on site and officers will be carrying out random searches. We’ll also be working with Trading Standards at Essex County Council to crack down on the sale of legal highs and anyone found to be in possession of them will be refused entry.
Drug amnesty bins will be set up at entrances to the site and drug workers from EDAP will be on site to engage with anyone found in possession of drugs for personal use and to offer them access to support services.
If you bring drugs with you, you could end up spending the day in the cells while your friends enjoy the festival.
While we don’t want to stop people having a good time we’re reminding festivalgoers not to put themselves in a vulnerable position by drinking excessively. Know your limit; keep a look out for friends and stick together especially during the evenings.
In previous years visitors have arrived at the festival to discover they have been sold fake tickets via unofficial websites. Anyone with a fake ticket will not be allowed in and police will be working to keep ticket touts away.
Chief Inspector Nick Lee said: “The V Festivalis an event thousands of people travel to Essex to enjoy and we want to make sure they are able to have a good time. We’re not out to spoil anyone’s fun but will be working to make sure the festivalis as safe and enjoyable an event as possible for everyone.”
“Unfortunately there will always be a small minority of people who come to V for the wrong reasons – to commit crime and spoil other people’s fun. Our message to criminals is stay away. Our officers will be working to stop criminals in their tracks.”
“We won’t tolerate those who set out to ruin the occasion by stealing, dealing drugs or committing other offences.”
“Please beware of so called legal highs. There has been very little research into the short, medium and long terms risks of these substances. No one knows the effects of these and please remember the fact that they are legal does not mean they are safe.”
“Finally, we would ask visitors to follow the safety advice we’ll be giving in the run up to and during the festival. Take sensible precautions and have a great time at V Festival 2012.”