DOUBLE TROUBLE AT STAFFORD LEG OF V2000

Meanwhile, Chelmsford is relatively crime-free...

Arrests at the V2000 festival site at WESTON PARK, STAFFORD almost doubled this year, with the majority of crime being drug-related.

There were 28 arrests at Weston Park – a significant increase on the 15 made last year. Of the 28 people arrested, 21 were from the north-west of England – 16 from Merseyside and five from Greater Manchester. Only three were from Staffordshire.

Chief Inspector Peter Taylor of Staffordshire Police, who was a commander at the event, told nme.com: “In broad terms we were delighted with how the event went. There were no major problems and a lot of people had a lot of fun. Sadly, a very small criminal minority were intent to wreck the event for others. Despite our warnings, many had expensive belongings stolen.”

There were a total of 121 crimes reported on site and 215 drug seizures by police. Most of those arrested were on suspicion of possession of drugs, possession of a controlled substance with intent to supply and criminal damage. One of the arrests was for possession of a canister of CS Gas, although local police stressed that it was not used.

In comparison, only 10 arrests were made at the festival’s sister site at Hylands Park, Chelmsford. Four men were cautioned for possession of a controlled substance, while a fifth, a 23-year-old man from Bournemouth has been charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to supply, and will appear in court in Chelmsford on August 25. Two men were arrested on suspicion of theft and handling stolen goods.

The First Aid tent treated 316 people for minor complaints, and three others were taken to the local hospitals for “minor injuries and ailments”. One of the people injured on site was a roadie for the Bloodhound Gang, who hurt his shoulder after being picked up and thrown by Gang bassist Evil Jared.

Ocean Colour Scene singer Simon Fowler was another minor casualty at the festival, reportedly having collapsed backstage just before the band were due to go onstage.

A spokesperson for the Chelmsford police said that the festival as a whole was a success. He added: “Generally, it appears to have gone quite well given a crowd of that size.”

The amount of reported crime at V2000 is low in comparison to other UK festivals. At this year’s Glastonbury festival, there were in the region of 1,700 reported crimes on site, with approximately 220 arrests made. Organisers of V2000 estimate that 50,000 people attended Chelmsford and 35,000 were at Stafford.