Winchester Crime Round-Up
Posted by Kevin Gover
Posted in News
Winchester Crime Round-Up – Illegal drugs and tent thieves not welcome at Boomtown Fair
In our latest Winchester Crime Round-Up, Hampshire Constabulary and festival organisers say they carried out their threat of a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to illegal drugs and tent thieves at Boomtown Fair 2013.
In the run-up to the event the 27,000 festival-goers were reminded not to bring illegal drugs on to the site, and were warned that anyone caught with illegal drugs could face arrest, ejection from the Fair and a subsequent criminal record.
They were even given one final opportunity to avoid arrest by disposing of illegal drugs in amnesty bins before going on to the site.
Specially trained drug search dogs were deployed at the main entrance gates to search ticket holders as they came in.
Officers also carried out patrols within the site to ensure everyone could enjoy the festival in a safe environment.
Yet despite alll the warnings, £120,000 of drugs were seized over the four day event.
238 people were dealt with on site for drug-related offences.
11 people were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply drugs, and were dealt with at Alton Custody.
Police officers and event security also carried out patrols of the campsite areas and arenas, supported by police horses from the mounted unit at Thames Valley police to deter thieves stealing from tents or pick-pocketing.
Police silver commander for the event – Superintendent James Fulton – told us more about dealing with the large number of people heading to Winchester to enjoy the Boomtown Fair: “We worked very closely with festival organisers to help them plan for a safe and enjoyable event.
“We hope this has sent out a clear message that drugs aren’t welcome at Boomtown, and shown tose who are tempted to take drugs in to future festivals that it isn’t worth the risk of landing yourself with a criminal record that will stay with you forever.”
Police in Winchester have joined with other forces in the county and South Central Ambulance Ambulance Service NHS Trust in condemning hoax 999 calls.
They have all insisted that hoax 999 calls put people’s lives in danger.
In one case, a call was made saying that a man had gone into cardiac arrest at a house in Southampton.
Supporting their colleagues in the ambulance service, several police crews were dispatched to the address, but found no trace of a man.
Police say they believe a 12-year-old child made the hoax call.
On the same day, the police estimate that there were a further 50 abandoned 999 calls.
Winchester Crime Round-Up: Hoax 999 calls statement:
In a joint statement, Chief Inspector Darren Miller from Hampshire Constabulary and the Service Operations Director (Hampshire) at South Central Ambulance condemned the action “We will always look to protect life and each hoax call we receive puts in danger those people reporting a real emergency.
Together, we committed significant resources in responding to this call and it was immensely frustrating for all involved when it turned out not to be genuine.”
The police say they are “talking” to parents of those who may be concerned: “We would say to all parents make sure you know what your schildren are up to.
If they have a mobile phone, check who they’re calling. If they’re found to be making false and malicious calls, they could be committing a criminal offence.
Some of the abandoned 999 calls are genuine, but the ones which aren’t divert valuable resources and make it more difficult to respond to those people who really need our help.”