COUNTY NEWS: Crime ‘minimised’ at WILDLIFE Festival in Shoreham

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Sussex Police has reported that crime and disorder were kept to a minimum at this year’s Wild Life Festival in Shoreham, as tens of thousands of people gathered for the two-day event.

A total of 80 individuals had been detained by police across the weekend as of 9pm on Sunday June 12 with a further 10 people were arrested across the weekend for offences including possession with intent to supply and assault, according to police.

Those detained were dealt with in the form of cautions, warnings, community resolutions and court summons and refused entry to the festival, police said.

Superintendent Jim Bartlett said: “The vast majority of those detained were for drink or drug-related offences, and much of that was due to robust search and security procedures undertaken by event staff and police officers – assisted by police dogs – at the gates.

“We also had a number of amnesty bins on approach to the entrance gates, and this allowed anyone in possession of any illegal substances the opportunity to dispose of them prior to police checks.

“Although the numbers of those detained or arrested represents only a very small percentage of everyone on site across the weekend, it also demonstrates our zero tolerance approach to drugs.

“Anyone caught in possession with illegal substances – whether at a festival or at any other location in Sussex – will be dealt with robustly.”

Sussex Police attributed the success of the operation to the force’s work with organisers SJM Concerts Limited and partner agencies over the past few months, which aimed to ensure a safe and secure environment for music lovers and the surrounding community.

Superintendent Bartlett added: “I think we can take a lot of positives from the weekend. We were there in support of SJM Concerts Limited, who did a sterling job in organising the event and providing the necessary staff, stewards and security guards.

“Since the festival was launched last year, the main target audience has been young adults. However, we’ve also seen a number of families with children in attendance, and much of that is due to the fun and friendly atmosphere on site.”

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