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festival

Round-the-clock security reinstated at historic hotel to protect it from vandals

ACTION is being taken to try to prevent vandals breaking into a historic New Forest hotel and wrecking the ornate interior.

PegasusLife has reinstated round-the-clock security at the Lyndhurst1 Park Hotel and boarded up more of the windows after being told by police to increase security.

It follows a spate of incidents in which hooligans have destroyed a large number of fixtures and fittings.

The hotel, which dominates the eastern entrance to the village, closed in 2014 with the loss of more than 20 jobs.

Plans by PegasusLife to bulldoze the building and replace it with 74 retirement apartments were rejected by the New Forest National Park Authority2 (NPA) earlier this year.

As the complex continued to stand empty, vandals started smashing their way in and wrecking the rooms.

Two months ago conservationists said a priceless stained-glass window installed in the 19th century was among the items that had been destroyed.

Now more of the windows have been boarded up, including those on the upper floors .

In some cases metal sheeting or the original glass has been replaced with wood.

It follows a meeting attended by representatives from Hampshire police, New Forest District Council3 and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.

In a letter to Lyndhurst Parish Council, Police Inspector Katherine Willoughby says: My understanding is that PegasusLife withdrew the 24/7 security once the planning application had been declined.

We have requested that further security is put back on and that the premises are secured with more thorough boarding.

Parish councillors are waiting to see if PegasusLife will lodge an appeal against the NPA s decision or submit a revised scheme.

Speaking last month Grant Drummond, development director for the site, responded to concerns by saying the company was doing everything it could to protect the site.

He said: We are in regular contact with the police and have reported all break-ins that we ve become aware of.

Our security company has detained people on site and passed details of people and vehicles to the police and this has resulted in at least one arrest.

We re taking every practicable measure to minimise opportunities for unlawful access.

Asked about the latest attempts to protect the site a company spokesman said: We currently have 24/7 security with two guards and have installed a welfare unit for them.

A Hampshire Police spokesman added: We attended a partnership meeting about this issue and security at the site has been improved.

References

  1. ^ Lyndhurst (www.bournemouthecho.co.uk)
  2. ^ New Forest National Park Authority (www.newforestnpa.gov.uk)
  3. ^ New Forest District Council (www.nfdc.gov.uk)

Leeds Festival security has been increased ‘dramatically’

Leeds Festival boss Melvin Benn today reassured music lovers that this year s event will be the safest ever – after working closely with police anti-terrorist experts to dramatically increase security. It follows the recent spate of terrorist attacks, not least of all the suicide bombing which killed 22 people and injured more than 100 others at American singer Ariana Grande s Manchester Arena gig. But while bag searches may take a little longer, festival-goers should get on site faster after an investment in extra training, resources and bigger entry lanes, he said. The biggest change will be allowing only A4-sized bags into the main arena itself – which is now common practice at most concert venues. Backstage security will also be tighter than ever with sniffer dogs used on production vehicles at the venue in Bramham Park. The measures apply to his Leeds and Reading double header festivals – both on August 25 to 27 – where this year s big names include Eminem, Kasabian, Muse and ex-Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher. For tickets, updates, safety information and more visit www.leedsfestival.com

Melvin, managing director of Festival Republic, produced the One Love Manchester benefit concert which raised over 10m in response to the attack – bringing together artists including Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Take That. He said they have learned an enormous amount about improving security at that and other events. There has also been a swift culture change in concert-goers embracing new measures, including reducing what they take into events to speed up entry queues, he said.

We are providing an environment that is as safe as is possible, he said. Trust me, we are working with terrorism experts in West Yorkshire Police, Thames Valley Police and up and down the country. Our security provision has gone up very dramatically .

We are investing in a huge amount of extra training and resources in order to provide that reassurance . In the main there won t be much more additional delay . We will put extra resource in to make the lanes bigger and people will be able to come through faster. He added: The big change really will be in terms of the arena – we will only be allowing in bags the size of an A4 sheet of paper . That will allow people to bring a rain mac or a bottle of water, or a sandwich. There will be sniffer dogs used on production vehicles coming in.

What we are doing, very rapidly, is changing the culture and people are embracing it.

We are in a changed world . But we re not giving in to any of these threats or demands or anything like that, we are just working through it.

Live from Times Square security stepped up as Newcastle city …

Thousands of music fans flocked to see the likes of Fat Boy Slim and Ocean Colour Scene last summer1 and it s sure to be status-quo when Life from Times Square returns to Newcastle for 2017, kicking off with Jake Bugg on Thursday night. Just like last year a stellar and eclectic lineup awaits ticket holders descending on the city centre2 event with the likes of James, Leftfield, The Libertines, Hacienda Classical, Manic Street Preachers and Brian Wilson lined up to entertain. Like many events after May s Manchester terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert, security has been heightened for Live from Times Square with organisers explaining:

Due to the high levels of security risk currently being experienced throughout the UK and mainland Europe we have been working diligently with both the Local Authorities and the Police to ensure as many measures are introduced to protect everyone attending Live From Times Square.

James will be headlining Live From Times Square on Saturday and we chatted to them about their return to Newcastle.3

These measures have included hostile vehicle mitigation at both entrance and exit of the site with the placing of concrete barriers surrounding the entry points which will be supplemented by steel shield fencing at the rear of the site for added protection.

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We will be carrying out thorough searches of attendees on entry and we appreciate everyone s cooperation on this area .

As such anyone found carrying items such as flares will be dealt with seriously and handed straight over to the Police.

We are also undergoing thorough site and building checks prior to the events to ensure that nothing of a suspicious nature has been left in or around the venue.

So the advice is to allow plenty of time to get in to the Live from Times Square compound before music starts and to co-operate fully with security staff.

Tickets for all of the Live from Times Square concerts are still available online from Seetickets.4

References

  1. ^ summer (www.chroniclelive.co.uk)
  2. ^ city centre (www.chroniclelive.co.uk)
  3. ^ James will be headlining Live From Times Square on Saturday and we chatted to them about their return to Newcastle. (www.chroniclelive.co.uk)
  4. ^ online from Seetickets. (www.seetickets.com)