Glastonbury Festival has worse crime rate

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The Independent Online

The number of recorded crimes and arrests at the Notting Hill Carnival is relatively low compared with the much smaller Glastonbury Festival.

The number of recorded crimes and arrests at the Notting Hill Carnival is relatively low compared with the much smaller Glastonbury Festival.

At the three-day Glastonbury Festival in June, where attendance was restricted to 100,000 tickets, there were 187 arrests, mainly for theft and drug possession; another 15,000 people were thought to have got in free.

Last year, Avon and Somerset police made 244 arrests, again chiefly for theft and drug offences, and recorded 1,130 crimes. In the past three years Glastonbury has had no murders but there have been several drug deaths at the site or soon after people have left.

At the two-day carnival in London over the years, violent incidents - including shootings, stabbings and public disorder - have been highly publicised but the two murders last weekend were the first deaths during the event since 1997. There had not been a killing since 1991.

Crime records compiled by the Metropolitan Police show that among the estimated 1.5 million people at the carnival this year, there were 276 reported crimes, 129 arrests and 94 casualties. The number of arrests was much higher than in each of the past five years, which varied from 99 in 1997 to 70 last year.

Last weekend's attendance was a record, but there were more casualties in 1997, when 113 people were taken to hospital with injuries or conditions requiring treatment.

Scotland Yard said the number of crimes at the carnival was difficult to record accurately as some incidents were reported days or weeks afterwards or at police stations elsewhere in the Metropolitan force area.

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