Ravetalk has made a Freedom of Information request seeking full disclosure from Hampshire Constabulary of documents, correspondence and itemised billing related to the policing of Glade Festival at Matterley Bowl in Hampshire.

The move follows the cancellation of Glade Festival 2010, amid revelations by the organisers that they were presented with a policing bill that was £100,000 greater than the previous year’s event at the same site.

Campaigning group Save Our Festivals believes that Glade has become the latest victim of new legislation which allows the police to unilaterally decide how much policing they want the event to have and then charge the absolute maximum for the privilege.

Music Week magazine has reported that the Association of Chief Police Officers has drawn up guidelines suggesting the cost of policing should be set at £55 per hour, per officer for festivals, which it believes pose a greater risk to the public safety than any other outdoor event, including football matches.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesperson said the force was “disappointed” that the Glade organisers had blamed them for the cancellation of the event and added: “We can confirm that some extra costs were incurred through a late license review. We had sought voluntary agreement on some changes to the event licenses, however, a formal review became necessary to meet concerns raised by members of the local community, which we always take very seriously.

“It was necessary to increase policing resources for this event after a review of 2009’s festival recognised that there were insufficient resources to enable us to discharge our core responsibilities of protecting life and property, preventing and detecting crime, and preventing and dealing with breaches of the peace.”

But campaigners against the ACPO policy say that it lacks transparency and that festival organisers are presented with a fait accompli without any right to appeal.

Ravetalk has therefore made its FoI request to force Hampshire Constabulary to publish cost breakdowns of its figures, details and minutes of all meetings held, plus all relevant police documents and correspondence concerning the issue of policing of the Glade Festival at Matterley Bowl.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, Hampshire Constabulary must by law respond to the request by 14 June 2010.

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8 Comments for this entry

  • timbadd says:

    ‘preventing and dealing with breaches of the peace’…. at a festival….. with dem big speakers…..

  • tom says:

    “preventing and dealing with breaches of the peace”
    again.
    there is no peace at festivals, that’s half the point.

  • billy says:

    It’s time the police stopped being a “for profit” money making company and started doing it’s real work of protecting the people, we already pay for the police to protect us, it seems most of us now need protecting from the greed which is rife amongst the police force now

  • SilverDub says:

    couldnt have said it better myself Billy. So now teh Police have free reign to calculate the true figure, x it by 10, then double it, double it again and add 10 + 100k yeah that’ll do and if that dont scare them off we’ll have to have an official review of the late licensebased on the official written complaints of 15 local residents…..which they take very seriously.

    The ultimate peaked hat egomaniacs stamping there authority!!!! More poxy stealth taxes, arent speed cameras enough reveinue for them?

  • xerode says:

    “there were insufficient resources to enable us to discharge our core responsibilities of protecting life and property, preventing and detecting crime, and preventing and dealing with breaches of the peace.”

    Surely Glade is one of the festivals that needs the least policing? One of my friends lost her bag there last year, only realised 3 hours later and had written it off as gone forever. We went back to the stall we’d had breakfast at (last place she knew she’d had it) and someone kind soul had handed it – still had her phone, keys, wallet and everything else inside and untouched. How many other festivals would that happen at?

  • Paul says:

    @SilverDub Actually no, speed cameras aren’t enough. They barely make money out of them. The cost to buy them and maintain them is astronomical. Not to mention it being a different department and the money not overlapping.

    It’ll be very interesting to see what response they give to the FoI request.

  • amanda says:

    It wouldnt surprise me if Hampshire Police try and get out of providing the requested information, blaming the cost of dealing with the request (either £600 or £450) is above the guidelines therefore they dont have to supply it…unless Ravetalk would be willing to pay for it….

    So lets wait and see.

  • We at SF got a good response from our MP you should have a go as well

    http://strawberrychair.blogspot.com/2010/06/mp-has-responded-to-my-letter.html

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