Fake wristband invasion fear for 2010
19 November 2009
Criminal gangs are set to target festivals next summer by selling fake wristbands by the thousand, a senior security expert warns.
Speaking at the UK Festival Conference at the O2 in London today (Thursday 19th Nov), Reg Walker from Idrim Security who works with Reading, V, T in the Park and Isle of Wight Festivals issued the chilling warning. Walker alleged there was evidence that fraudsters staged “test runs” in 2009 with a view to hit the festivals on a larger scale next year.
He explained that around 100 fake wristbands were seized at Reading Festival in August and demonstrated that they were almost exact replicas.
Walker said: "What's worrying is the quality of the wristband, right down to the barcode. They're highly convincing and virtually indistinguishable from the real item."
"And when you have hundreds of people all trying to get through the gates, the pressure is on the security staff to let people in. Fortunately they were on the ball in this case."
He added: "I believe it was a test run, as it is not financially viable to produce such high quality replicas in the small numbers we saw this year. This tells me that next year there is a plan to manufacture them in their thousands.
"One or more of the major festivals is going to get hit unless we deal with this now. This is the most serious problem and the most serious challenge we face in 2010."
It's believed that one in five festival goers attending The Isle of Wight Festival in 2007 had fake wristbands.
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