58 people arrested at Leeds Festival 2016

Around 60,000 people attended Leeds Festival every day this year.
Around 60,000 people attended Leeds Festival every day this year.

Police made 58 arrests at this year’s Leeds Festival, the majority of which were for drug supply offences.

Others arrests included offences linked to reported assaults and thefts, while road policing teams dealt with drivers speeding en route to the site at Bramham Park in Wetherby.

We always work closely with the festival’s organisers to target drug dealing at the event.

Chief Superintendent Keith Gilert

It marks a slight rise in arrests linked to the festival compared to the 56 made in 2015.

Chief Superintendent Keith Gilert, commander for the policing operation for this year’s event, said:  “We have again seen the vast majority of those in relation to possessing drugs with intent to supply them. Several related to substances that were previously called ‘legal highs’, but which are now illegal drugs.  

“These arrests were the direct result of the continued close working relationship that we have with Festival Republic and its staff at Leeds Festival. 

“The number of arrests for other than drugs-related matters remains a small figure for such a major public event, attended this year by around 60,000 people each day. ”

The death of 17-year-old Lewis Haunch, of Leigh, Greater Manchester, on Sunday highlighted the risk faced by festival-goers taking drugs.

He collapsed on Saturday afternoon and underwent emergency surgery at St James’s Hospital in Leeds.

Two 17-year-olds were arrested in the Greater Manchester area on suspicion of drug supply offences at the weekend.

They have been released on bail pending further enquiries.

A 26-year-old man also died at Creamfields Festival in Cheshire on Friday night.

Mr Gilert said: “Following the death of a young man this year and other similar deaths both at and away from festivals, we remain very conscious that protecting people from the danger posed by drug taking is important.

“We always work closely with the festival’s organisers to target drug dealing at the event.  

“This year we deployed a new piece of equipment. This device – a spectrometer – was purchased using money seized from criminals and greatly improved our ability to identify drugs quickly, rather than having to send them off for testing.”

The roads policing side of the operation focused on minimising the disruption caused by the large volume of traffic on roads surrounding the festival site.

A number of people were dealt with for speeding offences, particularly in Thorner, where village residents had complained earlier.

There was a serious collision on the A58 and another collision on the A1(M). The latter was not linked to the festival but did cause delays for people heading to the festival on Sunday.

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