Rutland Agricultural Society issue apology following disruption caused by Christian festival at Rutland Showground in Oakham
An apology has been issued by the Rutland Agricultural Society following disruption and anti-social behaviour caused by attendees of a religious festival.
The Rutland Agricultural Society, which owns the Rutland Showground, had accepted a booking for its site on the edge of Oakham from St Hilda’s Church, Darlington to run a Christian festival.
The outdoor event is self-contained using no on-site facilities other than a set of fields of about 45 acres.
It is being managed by 90 pastors supported by a team of 40 stewards as well as a team of Rutland Showground security staff.
In a statement issued by the Rutland Agricultural Society, chief executive Kevin Tighe and chairman David Wood said: "We required the event organisers produce an event risk assessment which covered a range of issues including the management of covid risks. To the best of our knowledge this is being implemented.
"In addition, we asked the event organisers to complete and submit to the council an event notification.
"The event which has around 1,500 adults and children in their own motor homes/caravans has also attracted a minority who have been causing a disproportionate amount of antisocial activity.
"We are working closely with the organisers and liaising with the authorities to minimise and contain this antisocial activity.
"We regret the disruption that has been caused and apologise to all those affected."
Social media posts allege that there have been issues surrounding dangerous driving, intimidation of members of staff at businesses, looting and death threats.
Some hospitality businesses in the county reportedly closed early last night due to the issues.
In the coming days police will be regularly attending the event as well as having extra foot patrols, a dedicated roads policing car and a specialist drone team operating in the area.