Crime at this year's Glastonbury Festival rose to the highest level since 2003, according to new police figures.
Mendip District Council insisted the festival was possibly the
best-managed in the world and had won praise from the Environment
Agency, Somerset Primary Care Trust, police and fire and rescue
Recorded crimes dropped to an average of 467 at the three previous festivals in 2004, 2005 and 2007.
new statistics show crime was up 78 per cent at this year's festival
with 751 crimes reported compared with 422 in 2007. The figures
included two rapes, the highest number during the five-day festival
blamed the increase on a weekend of good weather and slow ticket sales
allowing touts to sell to organised criminal gangs waiting at the gate.
Police superintendent Adrian Coombs
revealed the figures in a report to Mendip District Council, which
grants the festival licence.
said: ''The weather this year was mainly dry, with prolonged periods of
sunshine. Research would suggest the better the weather the higher the
crime levels are likely to be.
appeared to be the case at this year's Festival where crime levels were
very similar to the levels in 2003 when there was also a weekend of
good weather. The 2004, 2005 and 2007 festivals were renowned for
having particularly poor weather."
Among the crimes were 412 thefts, 177 drugs offences and 110 pick-pocketing incidents.
Arrests increased to 199 compared with 183 in the previous year.
Police believe the majority of the thefts were from tents or people being pick-pocketed in packed crowds.
Superintendent Coombs said: ''Unusually, tickets were still available for sale this year on the lead up to the festival.
likelihood of co-ordinated groups of people being able to gain
legitimate entry to the festival site was therefore increased when
compared with more recent festivals and this may have had an impact on
the crime levels.
increase in crime can largely be attributed to the number of 'other
theft' offences, mainly theft from tents, which were predominantly
reported on the Wednesday and Thursday of the festival."
founder Michael Eavis said that the late sale of 20,000 tickets without
photo identity, which may have contributed to the problem, would not be
repeated next year. All festival-goers must register with photo
Tickets went on sale on October 5 and 90,000 have already sold at £175.
Festival-goers can also book a ticket with £50 deposit and there is no restriction on the number individuals can buy.
Mr Eavis said: "It has gone even better than my wildest dreams imagined.
"We wanted to give people the chance to decide early whether to come here.
crime figures were up this year, but it was probably the best-organised
event in the world of its kind, and you can't get a better report than
Edited by Peach on 13-October-2008 at 9:49pm