Organisers of Leicestershire’s Download rock festival have reassured fans that security has been stepped up in the wake of the Manchester terror attack. The three-day event, in Castle Donington, runs from Friday to Sunday, June 9-11. Traditionally, Leicestershire Police2 are closely involved in its planning and officers remain on the site throughout, with an emphasis on public safety and crime prevention.
However, there has been a greater emphasis placed on counter-terror measures this year as a result of the suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena last month.
In a statement on the Download website, organisers Festival Republic said: “We are all in complete admiration of how the city of Manchester has responded and the true sense of community that has been felt around the country, and in fact the world. “Our priority is, and always will be, making you safe at our festivals and events. “We must all remain vigilant and stay strong together.
Read more: Million pound drugs gang and its Leicester members jailed for more than 100 years3 “Since then, we have consulted with personnel at the very highest level and all the relevant police and security groups as we carry on with the preparation for this festival season.
“On top of the conversations this week, these talks will continue right up until the festivals and onwards. “We talk regularly with the authorities and share intelligence throughout the festival season in order to protect our fans. “The festival perimeter, arena, backstage and offsite areas are all robustly controlled and managed by security experts.
“Festivals are what we do . The hundreds of staff working on these events know them inside out and have been working on them for many years.” A spokesman for Music Plus Sport, which is promoting an outdoor concert by Little Mix, at Donington Park on Saturday, July 1 said: “Nothing is more important to us than the safety of all those attending our events.
“For obvious reasons we can’t discuss the details of security procedures, but we work closely with our policing and security partners to deliver safe events to be enjoyed by all.” Read more: Leicester taxi drivers report anti-Muslim abuse after Manchester bombing
In a statement in the days of the Manchester attack, Leicestershire Police said: “Detailed discussions will also be taking place with the managers of key sporting and entertainment venues and with the organisers of public events due to be held in the coming weeks, to ensure proportionate security arrangements are in place to protect the public.” The One Love Manchester concert is to take place on Sunday. Ariana Grande, Little Mix and Justin Bieber are among the stars at Sunday’s concert, which will benefit the victims of the suicide bombing.
Fans who were at Grande’s show on the night of the attack have been offered free places to the benefit gig.
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- ^ Leicestershire Police (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ Million pound drugs gang and its Leicester members jailed for more than 100 years (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ Leicester taxi drivers report anti-Muslim abuse after Manchester bombing (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
Police have released details of the airport-style security those heading to the Radio 1 Big Weekend will have to go through as measures are ramped up following the Manchester bombing. In the wake of Monday’s attack, which saw 22 killed as they left an Ariana Grande concert1, Humberside Police has been working with event organisers to ensure the two-day festival at Burton Constable Hall, near Hull, is as safe as possible.2 With 50,000 ticketholders expected to descend on the venue on Saturday and Sunday, including many from the Grimsby area, a review of security has seen organisers announce tight rules for festival-goers in how they access the site and what they will be able to bring with them.
Humberside Police and festival organisers have revealed security at the Radio 1 festival will gain additional support through Operation Temperer – the plan to put thousands of soldiers on the street after the terrorist threat level was raised to ‘critical’.
These additional measures require:
Body and bag searches will be carried out both at the shuttle bus hubs and at the entrance to the site, with attendees going through airport-style security checks. All attendees must travel to the site on one of the official shuttle buses or park and ride schemes . You can’t arrive or leave by private car, on foot or by taxi.
The only exception is for blue badge holders, who can access limited free parking which must be booked in advance . The venue will be signposted from the outskirts and at major junctions within a 5-mile radius . On the approach follow the disabled parking signage.
As taxi access is now banned, the deadline to buy advance shuttle bus as well as park and ride passes has been extended to 6pm on Friday, May 26. More news: Pub to hold special event to raise funds for the Manchester bomb victims3 Shuttle buses will cost 15 return and parking at park and ride sites is 10.
You can get transport ticket’s through the Big Weekend 2017 page on the City of Culture’s website. Tickets for the buses can also be bought on the day, but the price will increase to cover the additional administration costs.
As part of the security checks, festivalgoers are also being told not to bring large bags as it’ll slow entrance to Big Weekend. You will be unable to bring your own food and drink to the festival, with the exception of up to 500ml of water in a plastic container with an unbroken seal. Everyone attending Big Weekend is asked to be patient as they try to access the site given the delays expected from the additional security checks.
Police taking ‘all possible steps’
The police believe this heightened security is necessary in response to the tragedy in Manchester.
Assistant Chief Constable Andy McDyer said: “We are taking all possible steps to keep people safe and to minimise the risk of a terrorist attack occurring in our force area and I want to reassure all those planning to come to Big Weekend and those living and working in this area that their safety remains our top priority. “As part of the ongoing review of security arrangements for Big Weekend event we have made an application for additional support under Operation Temperer and we are awaiting a response . We are also being supported by our partner agencies and other UK forces.
“It is unlikely this will result in you seeing any military presence at the event, as additional support is more likely to come from armed officers from other forces, who will be freed up from duties such as guarding key sites by the Armed Forces. “As we have said previously, there will be additional security measures in place including airport-style security and searches at both the transport hubs and the venue. More news: Grimsby joins in minute’s silence for Manchester attack victims4
“The public across our area will also see an enhanced policing presence, including armed police, as the UK police, together with security and intelligence services, work around the clock to keep communities safe. “As further details emerge today of those killed and injured in this horrific attack, our thoughts remain with all those affected by the tragic events in Manchester. “At this stage we are not aware of any casualties from this area.
“Acts of terrorism attempt to create distrust and fear in communities . It is important that our communities stand together during difficult times. “It is also important that we all continue to remain vigilant, but also to go about our daily lives .
We would ask people to be alert and report any suspicious activity to police on the Anti-Terrorist Hotline 0800 789321 or dialling 999.”
Radio 1 response
Despite concerns the festival might be cancelled following Monday’s attacks, the BBC confirmed they had in-depth discussions about what was the right thing to do. “Listening to Radio 1 for the last two days, the overwhelming response from our young audience has been that this will not stop us living our lives, this will not stop us going to concerts and it will not stop us enjoying our youth,” explained Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper. “What we have got to do as the BBC is make sure that we provide a safe and secure environment for that to happen.”
Mr Cooper confirmed that no artists had pulled out of the line-up, adding that the organisers had received huge support from across the music industry.
Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2017 line up includes Katy Perry, Kings of Leon, Stormzy and Little Mix amongst many others.
There is expected to be an official tribute to the victims of the Manchester bombing on site at the festival.
- ^ 22 killed as they left an Ariana Grande concert (www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk)
- ^ ensure the two-day festival at Burton Constable Hall, near Hull, is as safe as possible. (www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk)
- ^ Pub to hold special event to raise funds for the Manchester bomb victims (www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk)
- ^ Grimsby joins in minute’s silence for Manchester attack victims (www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk)
Two thieves involved in attacking a security guard and brandishing a large kitchen knife outside a store, were later caught when staff recognised them on Facebook, a court heard. Ben Rowland punched the victim so hard it knocked him to the ground and caused multiple fractures to his eye socket. Co-accused, Luke Parker, then frightened other members of staff, causing them to flee by waving a large kitchen knife at them, Leicester Crown Court1 was told.
Rowland (27), of Alpine Drive, Thurmaston, Leicester, was jailed for a total of two years.
He admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm on July 1. Read more: Man found dead in grounds of Leicester Royal Infirmary
2 Parker (25), of Manor Road, East Leake, who admitted possessing an offensive weapon, was given a two year jail sentence, suspended for two years, with 150 hours of unpaid work and was told to pay 1,000 court costs.
‘He punched him hard to the face, knocking him over’
James Bide-Thomas, prosecuting, said the defendants were attempting to leave the store, after Parker concealed the whisky down his trousers. Parker became aggressive when security staff attempted to detain him but he ran out of another exit and was seen to put something in the back of a car, which was driven a short distance.
Mr Bide-Thomas said: “Parker and Rowland walked after the car and a security guard took hold of Rowland who punched him hard to the face, knocking him over and causing pain and a nosebleed.” Read more: Police seize cannabis plants from house in West End, Leicester4 The guard suffered multiple fractures to his orbital bone.
He was treated in hospital and had to take time off work.
‘He waved a knife at other members of staff’
Mr Bide-Thomas said: “Parker intervened to assist Rowland and produced a large carving knife, about 12 inches long, and waved it at other members of staff, who were afraid they were about to be hurt and retreated into the store. “Both defendants were later identified by staff using Facebook.” Rowland, who appeared in court via a live video link from HMP Leicester, also admitted common assault upon three women at a house party he was refused entry to, in March last year, and accepted the offending put him in breach of a suspended sentence for an earlier theft.
‘You’ve been habitually violent’
Judge Nicholas Dean QC told Rowland: “You assaulted a security guard when he was carrying out public responsibilities, stolen from Tesco with Parker. “You’ve been habitually violent in the past and your record is very poor. “You have difficulty controlling your temper even when provoked in a relatively mild way.
“I’ve read a letter from your partner which shows there’s another side to you. Sentencing Parker, the judge said he recognised that he had moved to a different area to escape negative influences, had put offending behind him and was settled into full-time employment. Read more: Man bludgeoned in hammer attack tells of ‘calculated cruelty’ which nearly killed him6
He said because of Parker’s recent progress he would suspended the sentence in his case.
In mitigation, defence counsel said both men now displayed a greater level of maturity and intended keeping out of future trouble.
- ^ Leicester Crown Court (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ Man found dead in grounds of Leicester Royal Infirmary (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ Loughborough (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ Police seize cannabis plants from house in West End, Leicester (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ ‘Callous’ burglar stole from two elderly women – aged 96 and 87 (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ Man bludgeoned in hammer attack tells of ‘calculated cruelty’ which nearly killed him (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)