Police praise for crowds at Leeds Festival and Leeds West Indian Carnival

Crowds at Leeds Festival and Leeds West Indian Carnival have been thanked by the police for helping to make the events a success.
Crowds at Leeds Festival and Leeds West Indian Carnival have been thanked by the police for helping to make the events a success.

Carnival-goers, festival revellers and visitors to Leeds have been thanked by police following the busy bank holiday weekend.

There was praise for the thousands of residents and visitors who attended the 50th Leeds West Indian Carnival in Chapeltown yesterday and the tens of thousands of music fans at Leeds Festival each day.

West Yorkshire Police today said a total of 32 arrests were made during the course of the festival, a reduction of 16 on the previous year.

They said five arrests were made during the carnival, mainly for minor assaults and alcohol-related offences.

However, three people were injured when a man was stabbed on the carnival route and the suspects involved in that incident are still being sought by police.

READ MORE: Police reassure public after a stabbing in Chapeltown

Chief Superintendent Paul Money, Leeds District Commander, said: “The August Bank Holiday weekend sees more people visiting Leeds than over any other weekend of the year, and our aim is always to ensure that people have a safe and enjoyable time.

“Around 60,000 people attend Leeds Festival each day and the Leeds West Indian Carnival is the largest event of its kind outside of London and was celebrating its fiftieth year.

“Our top priority is public safety and we were pleased to see that the months of planning and preparations with our partner agencies ensured these events were delivered safely.

“There was a low level of disruption to roads and public transport and the events were relatively crime-free, with only a small number of isolated incidents."

As expected, the force received an "exceptionally high" number of calls during the weekend but Chief Supt Money said officers and staff and responded admirably to the increased demand alongside the major events taking place in the city.

He added: “We would like to extend our thanks to all those who took part in the events over the Bank Holiday weekend and who helped to make it a real success that Leeds can be proud of.”

READ MORE: Major police operation swings into action for Leeds Festival 2017

Chief Superintendent Keith Gilert, who commanded the Leeds Festival policing operation, also passed on his thanks to the music fans who came to watch acts including Muse, Kasabian and Eminem.

“Leeds Festival has been another great event this year.," he said. "Tens of thousands of people have come to Bramham Park and had a really enjoyable weekend in the sunshine.

“West Yorkshire Police worked in partnership with Festival Republic and Leeds City Council to ensure festival-goers and local residents didn’t experience the same issues on the roads as last year.

“As far as the public road network is concerned there were no significant issues at all this year. The main roads remained free-flowing with only very localised delays at peak times on the approach roads to the site. We had residents from Thorner approach our officers and tell them how much better the event has gone for them this year.

“Before the festival, I urged people not to try to bring drugs in or they would face eviction from the event and arrest. Officers have worked closely with security staff to identify those dealing drugs and more than 20 people have been arrested. Arrests were also made in relation to a number of reported assaults and thefts.

“The total number of arrests, 32, remains a small figure for such a major public event and is 16 fewer than at last year’s event, reflecting the slightly lower number of offences reported to us overall."

He thanked all those involved in the planning, preparation and delivery of this year's festival.

"It continues to be an excellent example of what the right level of policing resources and good partnership working can achieve," he said.

“I would also like to thank the vast majority of those who came to the festival, who saw some great bands and had a fantastic time while causing no issues at all.”