The Association of Independent Festivals' (AIF) Security Task Force has been deemed a great success in its debut year.
The crime combating initiative, which only launched a few months ago, has already reported good results including several key arrests, which have disrupted serious criminal activity at festivals.
Speaking about the success so far Jim King, director of Loud Sound and AIF board member said: “the number of reported crimes per festival capacity has been reduced across all the shows that we manage this year which has been an excellent result. Greater focus on sharing of information between festivals, police forces and security companies does produce results and the work must continue.”
Central to the initiative’s success has been the development of a ‘community policing’ strategy whereby security personnel are billeted to specific zones over the course of the weekend allowing them to concentrate on their areas and spot potentially criminal activity.
The scheme was trialled at Rock Ness at the start of the summer and it was an immediate success with reported crime down a staggering 95%.
Secondary teams were also set up to concentrate on the areas surrounding festival sites to clampdown on crime that was discouraged onsite and it was this move that led to several key actions against criminal elements.
Over the summer several counterfeit wristband operations were disrupted outside festival sites and by the end of summer the police, acting in conjunction with security teams, had made several key arrests, in one instance apprehending a gang leaving the area of a festival in possession of stolen property.
These early results have proven that not only can different security firms work closely together but that when festival promoters, the police and relevant authorities work together unilaterally it is possible to deal a major blow against this small minority whose sole purpose of attending festivals is to commit serious crimes.
The AIF expects this year’s results to carry through to next year when promoters will be even better placed to ensure that festival goers are able to relax and enjoy their weekends.