Every year, thousands of festival goers up and down the country, pack their bags for a festival weekend of musical shenanigans. Escaping from the real world for a couple of days is something many of us look forward to with it being a lot easier than we may think to get wrapped up in the moment and let our guard down.
Unfortunately, tent theft in the UK is beginning to rise. Crime figures reveal that £225k worth of possessions were stolen from UK outdoor music events in 2012, making it more important than ever before to keep belongings safe at outdoor events. With 12% of festival attendees having belongings stolen, although tent theft is something festival goers don’t want to think about, perhaps it’s something they should.
Tents left unattended are a particularly easy target for criminal activity, but with a risk of pick pocketing in large crowds, deciding how to safeguard belongings is a difficult task. Although not provided at every event, festival lockers are a great place to lock away money, phones and other expensive items. Valuable property should never be left in tents, even if locked with a padlock, as tents are easily slashed and disfigured. Festival crime prevention advice from Gloucestershire police advises that padlocks at festivals aren’t used as they often encourage suspicion that something is trying to be kept safe.
Expensive items should also be identifiable with visible marks such as the owners name or postcode. This way, if stolen items are recovered or if lost items are found, they can be returned to the correct owner.
Organisers are also encouraging festival goers to work together and act as a community, looking out for each other’s tents in a scheme named tent watch. The Shambala Festival, located in the heart of the Northamptonshire countryside, has taken a number of steps to prevent tent theft including: increasing security, creating a specialist campsite response team and a police liaison and introducing a pass out system. Organisers at outdoor events also encourage ticket holders to be sensible with belongs and not bring any unnecessary valuables.
Insurance from companies such as Aviva are also encouraging festival goers to insure expensive items. Under the personal belongings section of Aviva’s home insurance policy, belongings which have been stolen, damaged or lost, not only in the UK but globally can be covered.
Encouraging community spirit and making festival goers aware of potential security steps is step in the right direction to reducing theft figures. No one wants a weekend of fun to be darkened with preventable crime.