Summer Music Festival Thefts Set to Soar

Summer music festivals attract thousands of music and culture lovers to muddy fields across the country.

While most people are out to have a good time and enjoy their favourite entertainers, unfortunately thieves are also among the crowds and the number of thefts is soaring.

A look at police crime reports for the top 10 festivals in 2012 shows theft rocketed by a massive 39% last year – with 1,232 offences reported involving stolen goods worth £334,214.

Around 16% of festival goers report an incident of theft, loss or damage to their insurers.

The Isle of Wight Bestival was the worst for crime. Reported thefts surged a massive 228% to 400 in 2012. In 2011, only 122 complaints were made. Bestival also topped the chart for the highest value of possessions stolen at £124,000.

Suffolk’s Latitude Festival also saw a big crime spree as thefts jumped 207%, even though the numbers were relatively low – from 28 to 86.

The popular V Festivals in Chelmsford and Telford saw the number of thefts drop – 43% in Essex and 4% in Shropshire.

The biggest concern for festival goers is not crime, but the weather, according to research by insurer Aviva, which compiled the theft statistics.

Three out of four visitors worry about rain before they go to a festival, 58% have fears about facilities and only 44% worry about keeping their belongings safe.

The insurer estimates the average value of personal belongings a festival goer carries at £930.

“Festivals are a main event of the British summer, with music and merriment, come rain or shine. But with any large gathering there’s a risk of theft, especially when most of us will be carrying expensive electronics such as smartphones and cameras,” said an Aviva spokesman.

“There are a number of preventative measures that can help reduce the risk of being a target – toning down on flashy gadgets and keeping items in a zipped bag rather than a back pocket can deter would be thieves.”

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