Record number of serious assaults at T in the Park

A RECORD number of serious assaults took place at last year's T in the Park, although overall crime at the festival fell, police figures show.

The report comes as the festivals organisers are under pressure from the local authority to overhaul plans for this years event. Picture: TSPL

Police Scotland recorded six serious assaults at last summer’s event, double the number for the previous three years combined. While drug offences and thefts also dropped, petty assaults and vandalism both rose.

The statistics are outlined in the force’s report to an upcoming meeting of Perth & Kinross Council’s community safety committee.

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It comes as the festival’s organisers are under pressure from the local authority to overhaul plans for this year’s event and implement a range of measures to improve traffic, crowd safety and campsite security.

In his report, Chief Superintendent Eddie Smith, divisional commander for Tayside, said the figures gave “some indication that levels of reported and detected disorder” at last year’s three-day festival had “increased from previous years.”

All but one of the serious assaults took place within the campsite at the festival’s Strathallan estate venue.

Petty assault rose from 15 to 36 over the 12 months, with 11 crimes of threatening or abusive behaviour, which, Mr Smith said, had never previously been recorded.

Police said the violent crime could have been linked to a type of hallucinogenic ecstasy, although Mr Smith stressed the impact of the drug was anecdotal, apart from one serious assault which “appeared to be directly related”.

There were 266 drug offences in 2015, down from 315. Thefts also decreased from 136 in 2014 to 118.

Last year marked the first time the popular festival was held at Strathallan after 18 years at Balado in Kinross.

A spokeswoman for DF Concerts said: “Safety is our highest priority and this type of behaviour is no more welcome at T in the Park than anywhere else. We work in close co-operation with the police, emergency services and our security team every year to review procedures, with a focus on delivering a secure and enjoyable festival.”

The company said it had recently appointed a new T in the Park security officer as part of “ongoing plans to address some teething issues from the 2015 event”.