Tag Archives: Leicestershire Police

Showsec and Leicestershire Police work in unison to cut crime at 2015 Download Festival

Event security specialist Showsec’s crime reduction partnership with Leicestershire Police has produced another significant drop in incidents at the Download Festival. The impact of the joint operation for the 2015 event at Donington Park in the Midlands has resulted in a fall of 35% in reported criminal activity. That follows on from a reduction of almost 70% at the 2014 Festival.

What makes this further decrease particularly satisfying is that there was a considerable increase in the number of people who attended Donington Park this time around. The whole experience for the 80,000 Heavy Metal and Hard Rock music fans who attended was made all the more enjoyable by the effect of a joint crime reduction strategy aimed at enhancing Download’s reputation as the UK’s premier event of its kind.

Showsec worked closely with Leicestershire Police on the introduction of a specific Crime Reduction Strategy for the first time in 2014. This had a profound effect for a festival which could already point to relatively low crime figures for events of this type. Indeed, crime figures at Download have been on a downward curve since 2011 and are now at a five-year low following Leicestershire Police’s publication of the latest results.

At this year’s event, organiser Live Nation introduced cashless RFID technology which meant there was very little cash on site while the police trialled facial recognition technology. Results of the effectiveness of this particular trial are subject to a separate report.

Showsec worked in tandem with Leicestershire Police to reduce incidents of criminality at the 2015 Download Festival

Showsec worked in tandem with Leicestershire Police to reduce incidents of criminality at the 2015 Download Festival

Festival director John Probyn highlighted the importance of these measures in providing the best possible experience for Download’s loyal customers. “We’re absolutely thrilled that crime figures have fallen again at this year’s Download Festival,” enthused Probyn. “Every year, we work tirelessly with Showsec and Leicestershire Police to ensure that we provide the safest environment for our fans to enjoy nothing but fun and great music. These latest figures are not only testament to the strength and effectiveness of that partnership and the initiatives we introduce to keep the fans safe, but also to our incredible community of Download festival goers.”

Detective Inspector Matt Ditcher, who was in charge of Leicestershire Police’s Crime Reduction Strategy, commented: “Crime at Download has always been low, but this year has been really exceptional. When you consider that 80,000 people flood into North West Leicestershire over five days, almost doubling the size of the local population, it’s incredible that so few crimes have been reported to us. The figures reflect the hard work and co-operation that occurs between ourselves, Live Nation and Showsec. We work and patrol together to prevent people falling victim to crime either by encouraging them to keep their belongings safe, carrying out proactive joint patrols or by identifying and removing those people who are acting suspiciously. It’s obvious that our strategy works really well and has been a great success.”

Developing the Crime Reduction Strategy

Showsec placed great emphasis on further development of the Crime Reduction Strategy as the award-winning company looked to build upon such a positive outcome last year.

“We’re continually seeking to raise the bar with our operations, but achieving further progress in this instance presented quite a challenge for us,” explained Showsec’s director Simon Battersby, who served as director of security for this year’s Download Festival. “This was due to the reduction in crime being so high in 2014 and also due to this year’s Download attracting a considerably higher turnout, both in terms of the large numbers who attended the festival and those who populated all of the camp sites.”

Battersby continued: “It’s a measure of the close liaison which we have developed with Leicestershire Police that, together, we were able to achieve another significant reduction in crime. “Simon Cole, the Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police and the Gold Commander, Chief Superintendent Chris Haward, were both praiseworthy of the partnership. The introduction of our own specific Crime Reduction Strategy was piloted at Download last year and then subsequently adopted at other festivals. We believe this partnership in the case of Download and those orchestrated with police forces for festivals in other parts of the country can develop safer and more secure environments in which customers can realise even more enjoyment out of their festival experience.”

The Download Festival is traditionally one of the largest event operations taken on by Showsec each year. It was the commitment and professionalism of the team at all levels which ensured the company rose to the challenges in this instance – and one in particular.

“The wet weather was obviously one of the biggest challenges,” said Battersby. “It is, of course, all part of working at festivals in an English summer, but even though we’ve experienced it before and know what to expect, it doesn’t make it any easier. What does help, though, is having good-natured Download fans on site who accept the weather as being part of the whole experience. They may be soaked to the skin and covered in mud, but they don’t let that spoil their enjoyment of the whole occasion.”

The strength of Showsec’s management infrastructure meant that Battersby was supported by regional managers Richard Church (as arena security manager) and Alan Wallace (security manager for the camp sites) in addition to a number of area managers. These included Joe Milner (project manager) and Louise Stockden (Control Room manager). Operations executive Jennifer Edwards took on the role of crime liaison manager.

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City of London Police targets the Christmas counterfeiters in planned raids

Detectives from the City of London Police’s dedicated Intellectual Property Crime Unit have arrested three individuals in morning raids and seized more than 1,500 suspected fake goods as part of a crackdown on counterfeit goods being sold online in the lead-up to Christmas.

The operations that took place on Tuesday 9 December form part of the force’s current ‘12 Online Frauds of Christmas’ campaign which has been rolled out across the country to protect millions of people from falling victim to cyber fraudsters.

Detectives from the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) arrested a 31 year-old man at his home on suspicion of selling counterfeit designer watches online.

Upon searching the man’s home, officers found and seized around 1,500 suspected fake watches from a range of top designer brands which, if sold at the genuine retail price, are worth around £1 million.

With support from Leicestershire Police, the man was taken to a police station for questioning and later released on bail until May 2015.

In Leeds, the unit arrested a 26 year-old man and a 28 year-old woman at two residential addresses following a referral from the Anti-Counterfeiting Group, a trade organisation which represents rights holders in the branded goods sector.

The City of London Police wants to see counterfeit goods sellers behind bars

The City of London Police wants to see counterfeit goods sellers behind bars

The man and woman are suspected to be two of the UK’s top sellers on social media for counterfeit designer goods. Approximately 150 suspected fake goods were seized from the two properties including designer shoes, handbags, clothes and watches.

The individuals concerned were taken to local police stations for questioning and cautioned by officers.

Sending out a strong message

Detective Chief Superintendent Dave Clark said: “The action taken by the PIPCU sends out a strong message to anyone thinking of selling or buying fake goods that the police take this issue very seriously.”

DCS Clark added: “Counterfeit goods are cheap and shoddy versions of the original and the public need to be aware that they are potentially putting themselves at risk by buying them. Not only can fake goods such as cosmetics or electrical items pose a risk to your health but, if you buy any counterfeit items online, you risk having your computer infected with viruses and malware or your financial details being compromised.”

He concluded: “We would urge anyone who thinks they have unknowingly bought counterfeit goods this Christmas to report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online. Don’t forget… If you believe someone is selling counterfeit goods, you can report it anonymously to the charity Crimestoppers.”

Tim Mascall, director of the IP Crime Unit, stated: “The success of these raids once again shows the value of having a dedicated police unit to co-ordinate the fight against intellectual property crime. The City of London Police’s anti-counterfeiting initiative in the run-up to Christmas is a timely reminder of the serious and insidious nature of product counterfeiting. It’s important for us all to remember that this is not the victimless cottage industry the counterfeiters would have us believe, but rather a well-organised international criminal enterprise often with links to other types of serious crime.”

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