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British festivals have lower crime than UK norm

Figures obtained by insurance firm Policy Expert reveal crime rates at UK festivals are well below the national average

By Rhian Jones on 15 Aug 2016

UK festivals have a far lower crime rate than the average across England and Wales, according to figures obtained by insurance firm Policy Expert.

Using data gathered from Freedom of Information requests sent to police forces countrywide, the company has compiled a report detailing crime rates across British events, printed in the The Times.

London’s Wireless Festival has the highest crime rate of all UK events, with 1 in 531 festival-goers falling victim to pickpocketing last year. According to the stats, around 254 people out of Wireless’ 135,000 2015 attendees reported crimes, equivalent to 0.18% festival-goers.

However, if you compare those numbers to the level of crime that happens across England and Wales generally, it’s actually far lower.

Latest estimates from the Crime Survey for England and Wales put the number of criminal incidents happening against adults for the year ending March 2016 at 6.3 million.

That’s 11.2% of the joint 56.073m population of England and Wales.

In April, Wireless, promoted by Festival Republic, announced new security measures for its 2016 event, taking place in Finsbury Park. The new security strategy included the restructuring and management of key areas, specifically site structure and security, including added roles.

Last year, around £270,000 was reported lost or stolen from people at festivals. Also on Policy Expert’s list was South West Four (where fans have a one in 640 chance of being pick-pocketed), Wilderness (one in 770), The Great Escape (one in 830), Reading (one in 880) and Secret Garden Party (one in 1,100).

At V Festival, one in 10,000 people fell victim to crime, followed by Download and Boardmasters with one in 24,000 and one in 6,000, respectively.


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