Police were celebrating lower crime and more arrests at this year’s Glastonbury festival today, claiming campers responded to their “professional and friendly” approach.
Prodigy frontman Keith Flint was even allowed to ride around on an Avon and Somerset officer’s mountain bike, the force said.
A total of 445 crimes were recorded – a figure which is down from 483 last year. Some 174 of those offences were drug related.
Thefts from tents were down by nearly 30%, from 244 last year to 179 this time.
A total of 156 arrests were made compared to 151 last year, the majority being for possession and possession with intent to supply drugs like cannabis and ecstasy.
The success is being put down to several factors. A Neighbourhood Watch scheme has encouraged campers to look out for each other, while Safer Stronger Neighbourhood Teams have been giving advice on keeping property safe.
Police have also worked in conjunction with Glastonbury Festival Security for the first time.
Officers have been handing out lanyards so music fans can put mobile phones around their necks and there is also a property registration scheme.
Chief Superintendent Kay Wozniak said: “The figures for Glastonbury 2009 highlight that the policing operation has been a tremendous success.
“A great deal of planning goes into the Festival to make sure that it is a safe place to be for all festival goers. We always work closely with our partner agents to improve the operation year on year.
“Last year’s figures demonstrated that thefts from tents and mobile phone crime were the two issues that affected festival goers the most. This year the figure has been reduced significantly in both instances. Giving out crime prevention advice and using initiatives, such as the Immobilise scheme, has played a significant part in bringing these numbers down.
“Not only has the police operation been a success, all our officers have been well received on site. Hundreds of festival goers have commented on how professional and friendly our teams have been over the weekend. They are all a credit to the Force.
“The target now is to make Glastonbury 2010 even safer.”
For the first time police officers teamed up with security and stewards to patrol the site, specifically in the camping areas. This has significantly contributed to the decrease in crime levels and we will be looking to do this again next year.
Festival organiser Melvin Benn said: “This year the significant decrease in theft from tents, which was the priority target for us all to reach, has been successful. I am delighted with the fact that we have all worked together to achieve that.
“Overall the significant plus for the joint operation is that on-site police officers worked with the security teams and the stewards. It is one of those things that will have contributed to everyone’s enjoyment of the festival.
“There was an absolutely amazing atmosphere from start to finish, I am sure festival goers have really enjoyed themselves, but I am also sure that a lot of the police officers will have too.”