Updated: Crime statistics reveal theft odds at UK festivals

Revellers attending Download are among the least likely festivalgoers to become victims of theft, according to statistics acquired by insurance provider Policy Expert relating to the 2015 festival season.

The statistics, which were attained from police forces across the country with a freedom of information request, also showed that attendees at Wilderness festival were among the most likely to be victims of theft.

Glastonbury was revealed to be relatively secure, with a one in 2,872 chance of theft occurring, compared to one in 24,000 at Download and one in 769 at Wilderness.

The 85,000 people who attended T in the Park in 2015 had a one in 3,400 chance of having possessions stolen, while Wireless topped the list for theft with a one in 531 chance.

Adam Powell, head of operations at Policy Expert, commented: “While it’s easy to get distracted by music, excitement and having a good time, it’s important to ensure you don’t become a target for opportunistic thieves. It’s essential to remember to be vigilant, especially in large crowds.

“This data shows a distinct spike in thefts over most of the festival periods. However, this shouldn’t deter people from attending any of these amazing events.

“All of these festivals have security measures in place, but the truth is, whenever there are big crowds – whether you’re at the football or at Piccadilly Circus – theft is a threat.

“So the best way to enjoy your festival experience is to be vigilant with your belongings. The most susceptible items for theft are phones and wallets, which could cost £500 or more to replace, so keep them on you and keep them safe.”

Update (15:42 GMT):

Wireless Festival spoke to Access after this story published, and told us that the figures reported here and in other media today (15 August) are regarding last year’s festival season. For Wireless in particular, new security measures were put in place for the 2016 event, which took place 8-10 July.

Wireless festival director and CEO of Festival Republic, Melvin Benn, commented: “We worked closely with local police and Haringey council, as well as festivalgoers, on a full site improvement plan for Wireless Festival 2016.

“Our new security strategy solved issues from last year’s event, which included the restructuring and management of key areas, specifically site structure and security. This was a new year for Wireless Festival, and we’re confident it was better than ever.”

PICTURE: SERIOUS STAGES
  • William Willbertron

    What about Boomtown and Secret Garden , which both have huge sprees of thefts. People going in on the Thursday nights when they know people will have cash and robbing fields of tents. It happened to me and i’ve spoken to loads of others, including someone who was rolled over in their sleep and had money taken out of their bumbag. Festivals need to be way more open about it. One security guard told me that people employ others to go in and rob tents. I would like to see crime statistics from festivals published.