Essex Police make 87 drug-related arrests during V Festival

A POLICE crackdown on drugs at V Festival in Chelmsford has resulted in 87 arrests.

So far 50 people have been arrested for possession of drugs, 23 of which were arrested for possession of cannabis, and 37 have been arrested for possession of other controlled substances with intent to supply.

Festival goers were given the chance to dispose of drugs in amnesty bins before entering Hylands Park and police took positive action against anyone found in possession of drugs inside.

Drugs dogs were on site, officers carried out random searches and drug workers from Essex Drug and Alcohol Partnership (EDAP) were on hand to engage with anyone found in possession of drugs for personal use.

A number of people were issued cannabis warnings and police are still questioning some of those arrested who remain in custody. The remainder have been bailed pending further investigations until various dates in September and October.

So far eight people have been arrested on suspicion of theft and there were five arrests for assaults on police officers.

Police are now wrapping up their operations in Chelmsford after another successful and safe V Festival.

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Overall the number of reported crimes is slightly higher than last year but reports are still being gathered and the final figures are still to come.

Around 90,000 people visited on both days of the festival and police took a robust approach to anyone who came to the festival to commit crime.

Supt Steve Johnson said: “The V Festival is traditionally a safe event and this year was no different. We always build on the successes and lessons from previous years and as always officers worked throughout the festival to make it as safe and enjoyable event as possible.

“Unfortunately there will always be a small number of people who come to the festival for the wrong reasons and we worked covertly and overtly to stop them in their tracks.

“My thanks go out to local residents for their patience and understanding during periods of heavy traffic and to all police staff and other agencies who worked hard to make this year’s festival another safe and successful one.”

Ben Hughes, Strategic Manger of Essex Drug and Alcohol Partnership (EDAP) said: “The Essex Drug and Alcohol Partnership has worked closely with Essex Police and festival organisers to make sure that this year’s V Festival was a safe as possible and that drugs were prevented from getting onto the site wherever possible.

“Drug amnesty bins provided the opportunity for anyone who was in possession of drugs to dispose of them safely and without any further action taken. Drug workers from our services were on site to engage with anyone who was found in possession of controlled substances to offer them access to support services to address their drug use.

“Support was also available onsite for anyone who may have drunk too much or taken drugs.”