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 Ã‚Â£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 Ã‚Â£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.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was necessary to increase policing resources for this event after a review of 2009Ã¢â‚¬â„¢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.
* Join the discussion in our forum thread on this story.