Avon and Somerset Police have confirmed that Glastonbury 2005 was one of the safest events in the festival's history, with crime (excluding drug offenses) down almost 20 per cent on 2004.
According to figures just published, 304 offences were recorded compared to 376 crimes the previous year. Detected crime also showed a huge improvement at Glastonbury 2005 with a 41 per cent rise in the number of crimes solved by officers.
However drug crimes more than doubled, with 205 recorded offenses compared to 102 in 2004, following a deliberate crack down on drug dealers by police and festival security.
Since the infamous Glastonbury 2000, when it was estimated there were more fence jumpers on the site than paying ticket holders, total recordable crime at the festival has now fallen by 87 per cent.
The officer in charge this year, Supt Adrian Coombs, said: “We are very pleased with the way in which Glastonbury 2005 went and that is largely due to the planning before the event which goes on with the organisers and Mendip District Council.
“Every Glastonbury brings new challenges, but this year we believe the festival was one of the safest ever, and the figures back that up.
“There was an increase in the number of drug related crimes, but that is due to police working closer with the festival security to stop and search people coming on site with the aim of using or supplying illegal drugs.
“Despite this, total drug seizures fell by 33 per cent this year compared to 2004, which tells me that people are getting the message that Glastonbury is not an event to bring illegal drugs too.”
The police report also highlighted reduced crime rates in and around the village of Pilton, a major objective by police this year. In previous years residents have been subjected to various crimes, ranging from festival goers relieving themselves in villagers’ gardens to threatening them with knives.
But this year saw 93 per cent of recorded crime happen on the festival site – meaning the village remained largely crime free throughout the event.
Supt Coombs added: “It is again due to the tri-partite approach that we have managed to work with local people and reduce the number of incidents occurring in the surrounding villages to Worthy Farm, in particular Pilton.
“The feedback I have received from the local community has been very complimentary and many of the officers on site this year felt there was a great spirit among those who came to enjoy the event.”
This year saw the recovery of all general policing costs from the organisers for the first time and officers are already putting plans in place for 2007, after Glastonbury is rested for 2006.