Cumbria Police has praised its’ dogs and their handlers as the number of drugs offences committed at Kendal Calling dramatically reduced.
This year’s event saw the Constabulary’s entire dog section, inclusive of all dogs and their handlers, present for the first time. The team worked on site from Monday 24th until Sunday 30th July, to conduct pro-active drug searches.
A total of 14 people were either arrested or dealt with for drugs offences, compared to 54 in 2016.
Chief Inspector Andy Wilkinson said: “Months of planning took place for this event and it is down to the partnership working between the police, festival organisers, security teams and other key agencies that the result has been an enjoyable event for most.
“This year I’d particularly like to praise the dog section, and our handler colleagues, who worked tirelessly throughout the week in order to reduce the amount of illegal substances being brought in to the site. At one gate alone, we were able to prevent more than 200 street deals from entering the festival, due to the planning and operation put into place.
“The significant reduction in drug related crime is testament to all officers dedication and we will look to continue this approach in future years. The amnesty bins were also widely used and we continue to support The Loop front-of-house testing service, which was a fantastic resource that offered an extra level of safeguarding to festival goers.”
A total of 12 arrests were made during the 2017 event.
Officers arrested 4 people on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs, and one on suspicion of possession with intent to supply psychoactive substance.
Police also arrested 4 people on suspicion of burglary of a portacabin, 2 on suspicion of drug driving, and 1 on suspicion of rape. The man arrested on suspicion of rape has been released under investigation and the victim is being supported.
A further 4 people were dealt with for possession of Class A drugs, and 5 for possession of Class B drugs.
There was also one report of a sexual assault, 4 of common assault, and 6 reports of theft from a tent – all are under investigation by police.
Chief Inspector Wilkinson continued: “Although we did make a number of arrests, this number is relatively small in comparison to the large volume of people who attended the festival, and we are pleased that most enjoyed the music and had a great time despite the weather conditions and the mud.
“Unfortunately there were some serious crimes committed, and our specialist detectives are now working hard to investigate these, and support the victims.”