Kendal Calling 2023: Partnership work praised as Kendal Calling festival is over for another year

Cumbria Police have praised partnership working with partner agencies, festival organisers and emergency services, as well as the officers who policed the event, as this year’s Kendal Calling festival comes to an end.

There was an increase in drugs-related crime when compared to last year, however this is a result of the proactive approach to prevent illegal drugs entering the site and to keep people safe from harm.

The work conducted to prevent drugs entering the site was complimented by the placing of a number of drugs amnesty bins, where those with illegal drugs were able to safely dispose of them.

The volume of non-drug-related crimes was lower than last year as the majority of festival-goers enjoyed a safe event.

A total of 9 arrests were made over the course of the festival, which this year ran from Thursday – Sunday, with around 40,000 festival-goers in attendance.

As in previous years, this year’s event saw the Constabulary’s dog section scanning attendees for those in possession of drugs at the gates. Officers and police dogs worked on site from Monday 24th until Sunday 30st July, to conduct pro-active drug searches.

There were 50 crimes reported to have occurred onsite at Kendal Calling and these included drugs offences, sexual assaults, assaults, and thefts.

All victims were offered safeguarding and support.

Any crimes identified are being investigated.

Superintendent Andy Wilkinson said: “Cumbria Police worked closely with the event organisers and other partner agencies in the lead up to the event and throughout the weekend.

“The priority of all our officers is keeping people safe from harm and our collaboration with the festival organisers, on-site security and other agencies has allowed us to do this effectively.

“Unfortunately, there were some serious crimes committed, and our specialist detectives are now working hard to investigate these and provide support to the victims.”

“There was a lot of preventative activity put in place before and during the festival including Number Plate Recognition cameras on and off site, increased officers on the roads in Penrith and our drugs dogs and handlers on the gates.

“I’d particularly like to praise the dog section, and our handler colleagues, who worked tirelessly throughout the week in order to reduce the volume of illegal substances being brought on to the site.

“Although we did make a number of arrests, this number is extremely low in comparison to the large volume of people who attended the festival, and we are pleased that most enjoyed the music safely and had a great time – despite the rain and mud.

“I would personally like to thank all of the police officers and staff who have worked diligently and professionally throughout the event, as well as all of the other agencies involved in Kendal Calling.”


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