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Very interesting. I have usually found police people more reasonable to deal with than private security who can seem a bit thuggish and "jobs worth", but Womad is hardly a sea of crime. We have been targeted by the "first night thieves" on the Womud year, loosing my husband's good rain jacket, and my son's wallet, which was a blow, but really I don't think police or security can do much about that. We just all need to be more vigilent about what we do with our possessions, esp that first night when everyone has most money. However this does sound like a bit of a play for more income from the police. Maybe a half way point between 3 and 29? great piece of writing Yummy mummy. Nice to read the people of the area are for the festival. I am sure that adds most weight.
Thanks Nelly. Yes, I hope some of the locals have written in. Definitely for a half way point between 3 n 29!! xxx
I have been visiting Womad with my family virtually every year for the last 20 years and while I agree it is one of the safest, friendliest festivals around I have witnessed/experienced several instances where I was grateful for the presence of real police rather than hired heavies – especially in the last years at Reading.
I don’t have a particular chip on my shoulder about the police or view them through rose-tinted specs but I am confident that they are more accountable & better trained than any private security guard – just look at the current Olympics fiasco.
Having a long rant at the police will do nothing to calm tensions between the police, Womad & local authority. To suggest that the Womad staff can solve crimes is just ridiculous! Now that it is public knowledge that the police may not be present organised festival thieving gangs (as caught by the POLICE at Womad a few years ago) will be licking their lips in anticipation.
I was not suggesting that the Womad staff can solve crimes. Lol! I was suggesting that if crime rates were to rise they would be on top of it and would up policing levels.
And point well made about the festival thieving gangs. x
Sorry - I thought you were thinking in terms of Womad CSI!
Sadly I don't think police numbers could be increased at short notice - most spare police will at a very big sports day in London. I don't want or expect to see the site swamped with police but a police van and a few cops wandering the site is a reassuring sight. In my experience the police who turn up at jobs like this tend to be willing 'volunteers' and willing to go along with the festival spirit. And if it comes down to money I wonder if there is anyone that Womad knows who has got loads & loads of money?
Lol! Womad CSI!! Love it!!
No sadly whrn there are problems they do have to be solved on a year to year basis. Like in 2010 when there was a lot of anti social behaviour we saw the introduction of festival camping lasy year which seemed to make a difference. If crime rates escalate this year I'm sure they will raise policing for 2013. But I still wouldn't want the police's objections to prevent Womad from continuing at Charlton Park! x
Have to say I would prefer local policing over private security . The latter tend to be more heavy handed and reactionary in my experience , and although I am not a huge fan of the police in general , I have always found their presence at Womad friendly and reassuring .
I can't say I've ever noticed them! But being observant is not one of my strongest qualities. x
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