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Leicestershire Police continue to investigate crimes by attendees of Light and Life festival at Rutland Showground

Investigations are continuing into crimes committed by attendees of a festival held at Rutland Showground.

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 for about 1,500 people.

Between June 19 and 25, about 180 reports were made to police regarding the event taking place, the number of people in the area and in relation to incidents in the Oakham area.

Police at the Rutland Showground
Police at the Rutland Showground

Enquiries were carried out into these reports which led to 25 of the reports being recorded as criminal offences.

These included public order incidents including reporting of abusive language being used and a person being spat at as well as criminal damage including eggs being thrown at a car and damage being caused to a tree.

Other reports made were investigated and were found to not be criminal offences or not to have happened as initially reported - including allegations of looting in stores, a report of non-payment for a breakfast order served at a café and some reports of threats being made.

Aerial view of the Rutland Showground where around 1,500 travellers descended for a Christian Festival. Photo taken on June 21
Aerial view of the Rutland Showground where around 1,500 travellers descended for a Christian Festival. Photo taken on June 21

In total two arrests were made across the week in relation to incidents in Oakham.

Two teenage boys were arrested on suspicion of sexual assault following a report by a member of the public of inappropriate touching being committed against teenage girls. The boys have since been released on bail and an investigation remains ongoing.

Officers have thanked organisers and attendees of the Light and Life event in Oakham as well as the local community for their co-operation and support across the past week.

Throughout the event, Leicestershire Police worked closely with Rutland County Council and other partners to provide advice and guidance to organisers, to respond to incidents reported and to assist with traffic management.

GV of the Rutland Showground
GV of the Rutland Showground

Proactive patrols were carried out by officers throughout the event and in the days after to engage with local resident and business owners and address any concerns.

All attendees of the festival had left the site by Saturday (June 26) with the site being left clear and tidy. Officers remained in the area following the event to continue to offer reassurance to residents.

Inspector Audrey Danvers said: “The vast majority of people who attended the event and visited the area were there to enjoy their faith.

"Our officers engaged with organisers of the event as well as attendees and also continued to carry out proactive patrols in the area speaking with local residents and business owners.

"Messages were also issued on our website and social media channels to keep people updated regarding the event and our work around it.

“The vast majority of feedback we received in relation to this was positive and we would like to thank everyone who worked with us and co-operated with us across the past week.

“Thank you also to our policing officers and staff for their dedicated work over this past week.

"This included the local Neighbourhood Police Area (NPA) team as well as other resources from across force and specialist departments. Thank you also to Rutland County Council and other partners for their ongoing work with us and in relation to the event. As with all our work, we are continuing to review the past week along with our partners and addressing issues and concerns raised and any learning points we can take from this.

“Sadly, across the week, we did see a small number of people engage in crime and anti-social behaviour.

"It is disappointing to be informed of these incidents; they are not acceptable and enquiries do continue to be carried out in relation to them and investigations are ongoing."

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