Mutiny Festival deaths: police commissioner says ‘we will learn lessons’ from tragedy

One of three images released by police. Credit: Hampshire Constabulary

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TOP politicians and police chiefs have warned that any investigation into what happened at Mutiny Festival must be approached with sensitivity – and people must not jump to conclusions.

The news comes after deputy leader of Portsmouth City Council, Liberal Democrat Cllr Steve Pitt, confirmed yesterday that there would be a review into Mutiny Festival, which ended a day early.

Mutiny Festival on Sunday after it had been cancelled following the deaths of two people on Saturday. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

Mutiny Festival on Sunday after it had been cancelled following the deaths of two people on Saturday. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

Head of the council’s licensing committee Cllr David Fuller has called for people to be patient as investigations are launched.

He said: ‘This is a terribly tragic situation, and it’ll take all the relevant authorities some time to look properly into what happened.

‘This needs to be done thoroughly and carefully. As always, public safety will be their priority.

‘Right now isn’t the time to speculate, while police enquiries are under way and local families are dealing with shock and grief.’

READ MORE: Loved ones of pair who died at Mutiny Festival release balloons in their memory

Cllr Frank Jonas echoed Cllr Fuller’s words, saying: ‘It is easy to say what is needed retrospectively, but I don’t think we really know what the answer is yet.

‘It is very sad to think that this has happened in the first place.

‘I am sure the correct measures will be taken and everyone will work together on them.

‘We’ve got another very big festival coming up with Victorious as well – but first and foremost our thoughts should be with the family and friends in this difficult time.’

READ MORE: Grieving mum and dad pay tributes to ‘brilliant son’ and daughter who was ‘full of life’

Police and Crime Commissioner Michael Lane believes that the tragedies that occurred at the festival are a reminder that drugs always present a danger – and that the tragedy could have been avoided.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, he said: ‘This is a tragedy that could have been avoided, and it doesn’t need to be repeated.

‘There are some simple things to understand and we can all say no to drugs individually.

‘What I can say is that we will look to learn lessons from this.

‘Lessons are learned from all the festivals – I think there were improvements from last year and I think those were presented to those who license the events.

‘I’m not in a position to say I am comfortable because this is a tragedy that could have been avoided by personal action and by the atmosphere in the festival.

‘I think we accept too often that there will be drug-taking.

‘We must not accept that.’