POLICE have wrapped up their operation supporting the Wild Life Festival in Shoreham – arresting just 15 people of the 70,000 visitors.
Officers worked closely with event organisers SJM Concerts, Adur and Worthing Council and the other emergency services throughout the planning of the event.
On each day, about 35,000 revellers flocked to the site. However, in spite of the large volume of music lovers attending the event, police were delighted to report there were very few instances of anti-social behaviour for such a large festival.
Chief Superintendent Steve Whitton, who led the police operation, said: “That many people is equivalent to moving a town the size of Haywards Heath onto the coast for a couple of days.
“There were five arrests on the first day, and ten on the second, mostly drink or drug-related. But taken in the context of 15 against nearly 70,000 present over two days, that is a very good result.”
On Saturday (June 6) there were two arrests on suspicion of possessing class A drugs – ecstasy and cocaine – with intent to supply; one on suspicion of possessing Class B cannabis with intent; one on suspicion of possessing cannabis and one drunk and disorderly
Yesterday (June 7) there were ten arrests – five for possessing ecstasy or cocaine with intent to supply; two for possessing cocaine, one for possessing cannabis, one for money-laundering and one for assault.
A number of people were also cautioned and ejected on suspicion of minor offences, barred from returning and forfeiting the cost of their tickets.
Ch Supt Whitton said some localised problems had been encountered, such as delays for some fans getting to and from the event, but thanks to close co-operation with event organisers SJM Concerts, Adur & Worthing Council and other partners, these had largely been resolved in situ.
He added: “There were undoubtedly lessons to be learned and we shall be reviewing our approach and methods in the light of these experiences. In addition, we still need to properly assess the impact on the local community.
“However, I was pleased to note that most of those attending displayed a good-natured attitude, and their patience and compliance certainly helped our hard-working officers and staff in policing the event successfully.”