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Light and Life festival at Rutland Showground in Oakham resulted in hundreds of calls to police

A Christian festival at Rutland Showground has resulted in hundreds of calls to the police throughout the week.

The Rutland Agricultural Society, which owns the Rutland Showground, 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 using a set of fields of about 45 acres to host about 1,500 adults and children in their own motor homes and caravans.

The Christian festival at Rutland Showground. Photo: Keith Gilbody
The Christian festival at Rutland Showground. Photo: Keith Gilbody

However, a spate of crime and disorder from festival-goers resulted in calls to the police.

Superintendent Jonny Starbuck said: “Initially we received over one hundred calls to police in relation to this event, mostly these calls to police were to notify us that it was happening and ask us if we were aware of the event.

"There was considerable anti-social behaviour reported and we have made two arrests.

“Since the policing operation was put in place we have seen these calls to police drop to twenty.

"We are aware of non-payment for food and shoplifting from local businesses and we are working with them to ensure the right action is taken. Mainly, we have had reports of anti-social behaviour and a few reports relating to covid compliance."

A number of businesses in the county shut their doors this week due to fears over safety of their staff and stores.

The council or police did not instruct any business to close, instead it was a decision for retailers to make.

Supt Starbuck added: “I want to thank Rutland Council and our partners for all pulling together to provide the local community with the right support and reassurance.

"We understand that anti-social behaviour can have a significant impact on the local community and I would like to thank them for working with us on this matter and I would encourage them to continue to report incidents to us.

“Again, we want to stress that this is a legal event and the majority of the people visiting are there to enjoy their faith. There are only a few who are determined to engage in this negative behaviour. We will deal with those who commit crime swiftly and robustly.”

The police force is working with the council to ensure the right plan is in place when the event finishes tomorrow (June 24) and the travellers leave the following day.

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