Police report reveals history of problems at Mutiny Festival
POLICE have raised concerns over problems with Mutiny Festival '“ with last year's events having '˜seriously undermined' officers' faith in the festival.
In 2017, the number of drug-related incidents increased from the years before, with five reports from Hampshire police and a total of 23 incidents over the weekend. Police said events at the festival had ‘seriously undermined’ their faith.
Cops called for city councillors to put a condition on the licence banning under-18s.
A police report listed a series of allegations revealing a girl as young as 13 entered the festival, with her 14-year-old friend sexually assaulted.
Other incidents included a boy, 13, who had been punched four times to the face after taking nitrous oxide, cannabis and alcohol. Another boy, 17, was punched in the face and left with a possible broken eye socket.
A 17-year-old girl was also groped by a man from behind.
Organisers said they offered a ‘veil of safety’ and had ‘failings’ they wanted to address. There had been an ‘increase in drug use,’ police said.
Organiser Luke Betts said then: ‘We’re proactive, whether it be having alcohol in their hands when they shouldn’t or anything that goes against the licensing. Our security is out there.’
A barrister said the ‘wheels had come off this year’ at the festival. Councillors refused to ban under-18s, as police asked, but introduced stringent requirements for photo ID.
The first event in Victoria Park, in 2014, initially led to Portsmouth City Council raising concerns over the 5,000 capacity event being dance focused, with the risk it could pose to children attending.
Although no issues were raised, Hampshire police linked nine incidents to the festival.
All of those were low-level assaults and public order incidents. In 2015 the event expanded and moved to Fontwell Park, Sussex.
Sussex police reported a number of problems including children getting hold of alcohol, organised crime groups dealing drugs, problems with crowd safety and security failing to keep the situation under control. The event moved back to Portsmouth – with it being held in Cosham from 2016.
It was a more subdued affair, with police reporting ‘a distinct lack of drugs paraphernalia’. There were just three drugs incidents.