Leeds Festival 2010 security to be stepped up

Security will be stepped up at the Leeds Festival following two alleged rapes at a music event in Suffolk.

The Latitude Festival is run by Festival Republic, the same firm that organises Leeds's annual rock bash at Bramham Park, near Wetherby.

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Its managing director, Melvin Benn, said he was "devastated" by the alleged attacks at Latitude, which was held in Southwold from last Thursday to Sunday.

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And today he pledged to do everything possible to keep female festival-goers safe at Bramham Park next month.

Mr Benn said: "It is fair to say that in the future we will be making much more high profile the issue of being alone at night, particularly if you are a girl.

"Festivals provide an element of outdoor freedom.

"That is integral, but our ability to inform young girls in particular about the dangers of sexual predators is something we can do more on – and we will."

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Extra stewards and security staff will now be on duty at the Leeds Festival, which is being held over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

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There will also be a ban on bringing alcohol onto the site after 6pm on the final evening of the three-day event.

The Leeds Festival suffered repeated problems with last-night violence and rioting before moving from Temple Newsam to Bramham Park in 2003.

A total of 37 people were arrested at 2009's event, the majority of them in connection with drugs offences.

Acts appearing at the festival this summer include Arcade Fire, Blink 182 and Guns N' Roses.

* A 19-year-old woman was allegedly raped at Latitude by at least one man after losing her way when looking for a toilet late on Thursday.

The second reported attack took place on a 17-year-old girl in a tent at the festival site on Friday night or Saturday morning. Police say they are not linking the incidents.

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