Police issue advice to Download Festival fans

LEICESTERSHIRE Police says is working closely with the organisers of Download 2016 to ensure the huge rock music festival is safe, secure and peaceful.

Download is held at Donington Park every year and police say it is a good natured and low crime event.

But with more than 80,000 people expected between Friday, June 10 and Sunday, June 12 there will inevitably be some issues requiring police attention.

Some festival goers will start arriving from Wednesday, June 8.

Officers work closely with the organisers, Festival Republic, and the onsite security companies to tackle crime and criminal behaviour together, often patrolling in joint teams.

This year they are also working with officers from the East Midlands Operational Support Services (EMOpSS) which provides roads policing, armed policing, dog support and operational planning to the communities of Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire.

Police say reported crime was "exceptionally low" last year but people going to this year's festival are being reminded to keep their property safe, use the on-site lockers and leave valuable items at home.

There were 60 crimes reported to police in 2015 compared to 92 offences the year before.

The majority of offences last year were thefts from motor vehicles - 18 reports compared to four in 2014.

Thefts from tents were low with just five reports in 2015 compared to 53 in 2014 - a reduction of 90 per cent.

Fans will be travelling from across the country and Europe so the police use Facebook and Twitter to send out crime prevention messages in advance of the festival and during the event.

Uniformed and plain clothes officers will be patrolling 24 hours a day in the car parks and campsites and police volunteers, cadets and members of the Community Safety Partnership will also be giving out phone 'bungees' which can be used to attach mobiles phones to clothing to prevent them being lost or stolen.

There will also be a number of large banners with crime prevention messages around the car parks and campsites and messages will appear on twenty electronic screens across the site.

There is also a police station on site where people can go for help and advice.

DC 582 Kev Walker said: "Officers really enjoy working at Download, it is a really good natured event and the festival goers always seem to welcome our presence.

"We want people to come to the festival and have great time, we don't want them to have their stuff stolen so our message is really simple, leave all your valuables at home and not in your tent or use the onsite security lockers.

"We're also urging those people who arrive by car not to leave their belongings on display or their vehicle unlocked.

"Last year, crime was exceptionally low with very few offences reported to us.

"We'd like to keep crime this low every year and would ask people to help us by looking after themselves and their belongings.

"We will have plain clothed officers and uniformed officers working pro-actively to look for any criminal activity.

"If you've got any questions about security and crime prevention then post it on our Facebook or Twitter feed and we'll answer your question.

"We'll also be putting useful information on there so it's well worth following us.

"We have had some really positive feedback from rock fans on our social media pages thanking us for our efforts which have been gratefully received.

"We hope it'll be the same again this year."

Download crime prevention advice:

• Use the on-site lockers for your personal belongings; don't leave anything in your tent when you are not in it. Book a locker in advance for between £7 and £16 at www.lockerhouse.co.uk

• If you can't take your valuables with you when you leave the tent, leave them at home.

• Put money, tickets, credit cards and mobile phones in a zipped pocket or use a money belt.

• Do not bring large sums of cash.

• Postcode the property you do bring to Download so that it is identifiable.

• If you arrive by car, don't leave anything on display in your vehicle including sat navs, car stereos, CDs or mobile phones. Don't put items in your glove box or the boot, this is the first place a thief will look. Take everything with you or leave it at home.

• Find and make a note of your phone's IMEI number just in case you lose it.

• If you lose something check in at Lost Property, they have hundreds of items handed in every festival.

Follow the police on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/downloadcops or on Twitter at @Downloadcops


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