Leeds Festival 2012: Applause for feelgood rock fans

Volunteers Aurelie Lemaire, from Belgium and and Carmen Avoleda from Italy help collect up abandoned tents at the Leeds Festival site which will be resold for charity.

Volunteers Aurelie Lemaire, from Belgium and and Carmen Avoleda from Italy help collect up abandoned tents at the Leeds Festival site which will be resold for charity.

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Music fans won praise from police today for creating a harmonious feelgood factor at this year’s Leeds Festival.

A total of 87 crimes were recorded over the course of the three-day festival, with 32 people being arrested for offences such as theft.

The number of crimes recorded at the annual rock extravaganza in 2011 and 2010 was 107 and 123 respectively.

West Yorkshire Police’s event commander, Chief Supt Andy Battle, said: “The atmosphere throughout the weekend [was] fantastic.

“It felt like a relaxed party. It was obvious everyone was excited about the live bands and enjoying the entertainment in a safe venue.”

Police have also hailed the impact of their increased presence in villages around the festival site of Bramham Park, near Wetherby.

Officers on patrol on Saturday night arrested three men and a woman from Barking, Essex, and seized mobile phones that are believed to have been stolen from festival-goers.

Two of the four have been charged with theft and detained in custody while the other two people were released on bail pending further inquiries by North East Leeds CID.

Police said a clampdown on ticket touts and illegal traders in villages near Bramham Park had also achieved good results.

The force’s tout and trader operation was carried out in conjunction with West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service, Leeds City Council and event organiser Festival Republic.

Formerly known as Mean Fiddler, Festival Republic began putting on summer music extravaganzas in Leeds in 1999.

The event switched to Bramham Park in 2003 after a troubled stay at the Temple Newsam estate in east Leeds.

Its low point had come in 2002, when a 200-strong mob went on a three-hour wrecking spree, causing £250,000 worth of damage and leaving more than 40 people injured.

The concerts have, however, passed off relatively smoothly since making the move to Bramham Park.

* Not-for-profit volunteering group Everything Is Possible has salvaged hundreds of tents and other camping equipment left behind by revellers at Bramham Park.

Items will be available in exchange for a small donation from 10am to 4pm today (August 29) and tomorrow (August 30) at the Re:Work base on Hunslet Trading Estate.

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