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Latitude Advice from police

Suffolk Police are urging anyone attending this year’s Latitude Festival to take crime reduction measures to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time.

Latitude 2014 takes place between Thursday 17 and Sunday 20 July and if you’re planning to attend police are urging you to take precautions to ensure you don’t become a victim of crime.

The main crime problem at music festivals across the UK tends to be thefts from tents on the campsites. In previous years there have been a number of such offences, many on the first night of the festival when it’s likely that criminals target tents on the assumption that those camping are settling in, have not made plans for their security and may have withdrawn lots of cash to see them through the weekend.

Other thefts have occurred while festivalgoers had their attention diverted while they were watching performances. This included instances where people had camera equipment stolen from beside their feet, thefts from bags that were being carried and items stolen from pockets.

You should also bear in mind your personal safety. Meeting new people can be a fun part of the festival experience but going off alone with someone you’ve just met, particularly if alcohol is also involved, can also make you vulnerable.

Stick with your friends. If you’re with people you know and trust the chances are you’ll look out for each other.
Moderate your alcohol consumption. Overdo it and you’ll be less aware and less likely to spot dangers.
Be careful. Festivals give you the opportunity to meet new friends but going off alone with people who you’ve just met may lead you into situations you don’t want to be in.
There is safety in groups. Set up camp near friends, make friends with your neighbours and learn the layout of the site so you can find what you need – toilets/ stewards, etc, without getting lost. Always ask staff for help with directions or anything else.

Don’t bring large sums of cash, lots of credit/ debit cards, or lots of valuables with you. Only bring what you need and keep them on you, or in a locker, at all times. There are cash points on site so you can withdraw money as you need it.

If you can’t take your valuables with you when you leave your tent leave them at home. A tent offers little, if any, security and can easily be entered even if the entrance is padlocked.

Make use of the free property Storage Tent onsite open 24 hours to store your valuables and possessions securely.

Place any property that would be attractive to thieves (cash, credit cards, mobile phones, cameras, iPods, etc) inside a bag and tuck it into your sleeping bag when you go to sleep.

Make a note of card numbers, and the number to call if they are stolen or mislaid, and postcode mark the property you bring to Latitude so that it is identifiable.

If you arrive by car don’t leave anything in your vehicle, including satellite navigation systems/ CDs, cash etc. Take everything with you or leave it at home.

Be mindful of the activities of people around you when watching performances. Bags with shoulder straps should be worn across your chest, with the fastening towards your body. Rucksacks should be kept closed and not left unattended.

Keep mobile phones secure. It’s easy for a pickpocket to remove items such as these from a pocket or bag in a crowd without you noticing.

Use the lockers provided in the village.

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