Police preparations for the IOW Festival

Posted by Admin on 23 May 2012, 4:42 pm

Police prepared to keep crime low at friendly festival.


Keeping crime levels low is the focus of the major policing operation for the Isle of Wight Festival this week.


A community of at least 70,000 people is forming at and around Seaclose Park in Newport between today (Thursday, June 21) and Monday, June 25, 2012.


Hundreds of police officers, staff and volunteers are working closely alongside festival organisers and other emergency services throughout this week.


Hampshire Constabulary’s Isle of Wight District Chief Inspector Nick Heelan said:  “The Festival is one of our largest policing challenges each year as the population of a small town converges on the island.


“We are determined to play our part in keeping crime levels low, maintaining public safety, and preserving the festival’s family-friendly, relaxed reputation.


“There will be high visibility foot and cycle patrols in and around the event 24 hours a day, and a police campsite office based near the ‘white one’ campsite.


“We are expanding our presence on social media networks with our own dedicated FestivalCop Twitter channel http://twitter.com/#!/FestivalCop in addition to the force’s main Twitter channel. http://twitter.com/#!/hantspolice


“Hampshire Constabulary wants to make the most of new technology and this extra Twitter channel is communicating crime prevention advice and official updates from the police operation at the festival.”




Chief Inspector Heelan added:  “Unfortunately a small minority of people coming to the Festival will try to use it as an opportunity to commit crime, mainly stealing from tents. We remind festival goers regularly to take precautions while partying to protect themselves from criminals.”



● There is no way you can make a tent 100 per cent secure so only bring what you absolutely need.

● Do not be tempted to leave valuables in your vehicle either.

● Do not challenge people looking through tents – report them to Festival staff or the police immediately.



● Label your belongings, including your tent, with your postcode.

● Thieves are after unidentifiable property, so make sure the markings are obvious and indelible.

● Before you come to the Festival register your property such as mobile phones and cameras for free at www.immobilise.com and help the police to return stolen items to their rightful owner.



● Do this now: on your mobile phone key in *#06# and your unique International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number will be displayed.

● Make a note of this number so that if you lose your phone or if it is stolen you can contact your service provider to have the phone immobilised.

● Whilst on site keep it in a buttoned/zipped pocket, secure bag or use a lanyard to keep it secured to your clothing.

● Tracking software and apps are available for laptops and SmartPhones. If you’re bringing yours consider downloading this software to help the police reunite your property should it be stolen.



● There is safety in numbers. Say ‘hello’ to your neighbours to build a community feeling and provide greater security around your tent.



● Do not keep all your money, bank cards and valuables together – spread them around in different pockets.

● Before going to sleep, place them in a plastic bag and hide it in your sleeping bag with you.

● There will be lockers available on site for rental – please use them! LockerHouse will issue you an empty locker number and give you a brand new combination lock to put on your locker.




Chief Inspector Nick Heelan said:  “Illegal drugs will not be tolerated at island festivals, which have a relaxed, family-friendly reputation with low levels of crime.


“Police aim to protect people from the dangers of drugs at festivals on the Isle of Wight. Hampshire Constabulary continues to co-operate closely with event organisers to intercept and seize illegal and harmful substances. We’re grateful for the considerable and consistent support of the organisers


“Experienced specialist officers and drugs dogs will be on duty again at entrances to the event as part of a dedicated police operation agreed in advance with festival promoters.


“Officers have the right to search anyone suspected of being in possession of drugs. Anybody arrested on suspicion of supplying illegal drugs is not allowed into the arena again as they breach a condition of entry.


“However, our policy also aims to avoid being obtrusive and confrontational. Amnesty bins will be provided in advance of these check points to give people the opportunity to surrender illegal substances. 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.”




Chief Inspector Heelan 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 effects of taking legal highs are unpredictable for each person. Some people wrongly assume these substances are harmless: Legal does not mean safe.


“Our clear warning is for people not to experiment with offers of ‘legal high’ drugs before, during or after the Festival. Ask yourself whether you seriously know what ingredients make up the substance you’re thinking of taking? Your decision to experiment could have terrible consequences for your health, life and family.“


The contents of many legal highs have never been used as drugs before. They have had no tests to show they are safe. Government advice warns that people will increase their risk of death if they combine other substances, drugs or alcohol with any substance that causes a ‘high’. Often people have no idea what they’re actually taking because the substance is not labelled.


Policing the rest of the Isle of Wight


Chief Inspector Nick Heelan said:  “It’s important to highlight that there will still be sufficient numbers of police to respond to emergencies across the Isle of Wight while the festival is taking place. We will maintain an active presence in every neighbourhood to protect the people we serve from those who would cause them harm.


“Our mobile police office will also be parked in Fairlee Road during the whole of the festival so local residents have a dedicated point of contact for any concerns or queries.”


To report a crime, dial 999 in an emergency, or 101 for non-emergencies.. Mini-Com users can call the police on 01962 875000. Information can be given anonymously by calling the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.


Posted 21st June 2012 but ‘posted’ date amended so article disappeared after event finished.

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