Police and organisers working together for safe and secure event
Devon & Cornwall Police is well prepared for this year’s Boardmasters Festival, the biggest event in the force’s annual calendar. The event, with a capacity of some 50,000, takes place at Fistral Beach, Newquay and at Watergate Bay.
Additional patrols will be brought in to cover Newquay town centre, the road network and the event itself.
Police are warning festival-goers about organised groups who steal from tents. Superintendent Ian Drummond-Smith, the Police Commander for the Boardmasters Festival, explained: “Last year we had 60 thefts reported during the event, mostly from unoccupied tents. We encourage festival goers to secure their valuables and not to leave them in unattended tents at any time”.
Police are also alerting motorists to expect congestion and delays on the A3059 and at Porth. There will be a temporary 30mph speed limit in the vicinity of the event, which will be enforced by safety camera vans. Additional safety camera vans will be deployed to the A30, to reduce collisions and keep traffic flowing.
Roads policing officers will be particularly vigilant about drink or drug drivers leaving the festival or town centre each night.
Supt. Drummond-Smith said, “Drink or drug drivers ruin lives across the country and we intend to target any that may choose to leave Newquay after consuming alcohol or using drugs. We have specialist equipment to test drivers who may have drugs in their system.
“For me, the best result is that we do not find any, which is why we are telling the public about the operation in advance. If you have had a drink please stay at the festival site or in the town, do not get in your car.”
Newquay Police Station Front Office – Opening for Boardmasters 10 –13 August
The front desk of Newquay Police Station will be temporarily open during the Boardmasters Festival from 10 – 13 August, the peak time for an increased population in the area. A police enquiry officer will be available to respond to enquiries and take reports from the public. Opening hours will be 10am to 4pm, with a half hour break for the member of staff at 12.30pm.
The facility is being offered as a direct method for the public to contact the police at a time when the local population is increased by the combination of an influx of summer visitors and festival goers, and to reduce seasonal demand on the police contact centres.
Devon and Cornwall Police offers a range of online non – emergency contact methods as alternatives to the 101 telephone service. They are all received in the force’s contact centres and can all be found on this page of the Devon and Cornwall Police website www.dc.police.uk/ClickB4UCall
Online crime reporting form https://services.devon-cornwall.police.uk/crimereporting/
Live Chat – real time webchat with a member of contact centre staff, good for general queries. Available when you see the Live Chat widget on the website home page.
Police Enquiry Offices elsewhere in Devon and Cornwall can be found here: www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/contact/police-enquiry-offices
Call 999 if you or someone else is in immediate danger, or if the crime is happening right now.
Drones – no fly zone
Over the last few years police have seen an increase in drone misuse, this includes drones flying illegally at major events such as Boardmasters.
Drones that are flown over major events can pose a significant risk to public safety and this year the Civil Aviation Authority have authorised a temporary restricted airspace, also known as a RA(T), around both the Fistral and Watergate Bay sites of Boardmasters Music Festival.
This specifically relates to drones and means anyone who uses any kind of drone or unmanned aircraft within this airspace commits a criminal offence under article 239 of the Air Navigation Order 2016. The restriction is in place from 9am on Thursday 9th August until 3pm on Monday 13th August.
The Devon and Cornwall Police Drone Team will also be deployed at Boardmasters so if you see a drone at the event, it may be a police drone and does not mean that members of the public can operate their own drones. Anyone found to be flying a drone within this airspace will have their equipment seized and be dealt with by police.
Supt. Drummond-Smith said, “Our drone essentially gives us mobile CCTV, anywhere. It is a fantastic tool for modern policing and will allow both us and the event organisers to monitor the safety of crowds and tackle crime and disorder”.
For information on the law for general drone use please visit www.dronesafe.uk or download the free NATS DroneAssist App for iOS and Android.
Armed officers will be on foot patrol around all Boardmasters sites again this year, to provide reassurance to the public and festival goers who may be concerned about safety and security.
Supt. Drummond-Smith said, “While the UK threat assessment remains at Severe, we believe this is a very safe event and the deployment of armed officers to an event of this size and scale is now routine practice and the public should not be alarmed. It is not in response to any specific intelligence about terrorist activity in the area.”
You can find out more about armed officers, operations planning, contact centres and force support group - all part of the Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police Alliance Operations Department - on the Devon and Cornwall Police You Tube channel here:
Our aerial photo of Boardmasters 2017 was taken by the Alliance Operations Drone Team, and our video gives an overview of the work done by the Alliance Operations Department planning team.