Policing the party 2008 – Reading Festival

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Policing the party 2008 – Reading Festival

Posted: 08/08/2008 14:55:15

Police preparations to ensure that the 20th annual Reading Festival remains a safe event for revellers and residents are well advanced.

The festival is one of the biggest occasions of the year in the borough and this one will be no different, with 80,000 people expected to attend the venue.

From Thursday 21 August 22 to Monday August 25 police will work to a special operation order, tried and tested over the years of the festival, to ensure the event is safe for those attending and also that it has minimum impact on the surrounding community.

Working in partnership with the organisers - Festival Republic; Royal Berks Fire and Rescue Service; Midlands Fire and Rescue Service; South Central Ambulance Service; British Transport Police; the Environment Agency; Festival Medical Services and Reading Borough Council, the police will be playing a number of different roles throughout the weekend.

A police command unit will be set up for the Bank Holiday weekend with senior police commanders Ch Insp Shaun Virtue and Ch Insp Steve Thwaites, overseeing the operation.

Officers will also be providing high profile patrols throughout the event weekend to prevent thefts from tents, violence and robberies. They will be supported by security staff employed by Festival Republic.

If anyone needs to report an incident they should call the Thames Valley Police non-emergency number on 0845 8 505 505.

The festival takes a year to plan in terms of policing and officers from across the Force are dedicated to the event.

Police are keen to ensure revellers do what they can to prevent themselves from becoming a victim of crime at the festival.

The huge majority of the crime over the weekend is preventable and most are thefts from tents. Once again, people are reminded that tents cannot be locked and secured and, therefore, nothing of particular personal or financial value should be left in them.

If anyone would like any advice on what they should bring to the festival or on personal security they can e-mail readingfestival@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk and they will receive a reply from a member of the policing operation team.

Crime Reduction Adviser John McNicholas, said: “As with each year, we are all keen to ensure that the festival goers do what they can to prevent themselves from becoming a victim of crime and with that in mind revellers are urged to only bring what they can carry and to leave valuables at home. If you do bring anything into the site that is valuable to you then please make sure you use the lockers.

“I would also urge people not to be tempted to buy tickets from touts. If you do there will be a good chance that you are throwing your money away as your ticket could be fake.”

Ch Insp Shaun Virtue, said: “Considering the huge number of people who come to the festival, it is usually a peaceful and well-organised event where a good time is had by all.

“However, such large gathering can provide rich pickings for thieves and every year there are the same issues, with people having goods stolen out of their tents..

“My plea to people coming to the festival is very simple. Have a good time and enjoy yourselves, but use your common sense and don’t bring valuables like MP3 players – there will be enough going on to keep you entertained without them.”

Permalink: http://www.thesite.co.uk/viewnewsstory.asp?newsid=2619&placeid=188

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