LAMBETH COUNTRY SHOW “VICTIM OF ITS OWN SUCCESS”
The controversial fence put up around last year’s Lambeth Country Show in Brockwell park “created a festival feel”, says a Lambeth council report – which also reveals that at the 2017 Show there were large groups of people fighting with police and security in and around the funfair area resulting in multiple injuries.
Those incidents were not mentioned by Lambeth council when they banned a whole range of items prior to the 2018 Show, including hi-viz jackets and perfume bottles.
The report says: “In past years the area that had the most problems with serious anti-social behaviour was the adult funfair and so this element was removed for 2018 on the recommendation of the SAG (Safety Advisory Group).
The report emphasises:
- There was no youth-related violence or anti-social behaviour at the event this year compared to 2017.
- The improved security measures made a significant difference to the safety of the event, with a major reduction in arrests and none of the public disorder seen in 2016 and 2017.
- There was only one reported incident of underage intoxication at the show. This very low prevalence of underage intoxication was a successful result of the prohibition of alcohol being brought into the event and the enforcing of the Challenge 25 policy on all the bars around the event.The feedback from the Metropolitan Police was:
Very impressed with the quality and level of security.
A lot less challenging to police than in previous years.
Only two arrests within the show (1 drunk in charge of a child and 1 for possession of Class A drugs).
Only six additional arrests over the weekend outside of the show footprint.
A large knife was found just outside the footprint of the show. Likely that this was thrown or stashed when the carrier saw the entrances and searching.
First year that officers didn’t have to be deployed within the event.Due to its popularity, increasing numbers of visitors, incidents of anti-social behaviour from a small minority of groups of youths, lack of provision for proportionate and appropriate provisions of facilities such as toilets; and the inability to control the increasing crowds, were having a detrimental impact on public health and safety at the event, the report adds.The report says arrests in 2017 reached 19 for the entire weekend and most, if not all of these were within the show footprint, so this is a huge reduction in arrest figures for 2018.There was no public disorder compared to what we had in 2017 and 2016 which was ‘fantastic to see’.In a sense, the event was a victim of its own success and a better way was required to sustain the Show at its present location and maintain the unique atmosphere that is a true celebration of Lambeth.The increased and ongoing threat of terrorism has also added to existing concerns for public safety.
The decision to erect a perimeter fence and operate mandatory bag searches on entry was taken after specific advice from the borough’s Safety Advisory Group (SAG), which is made up of representatives from the emergency services; from health & safety providers and consultants, as well as feedback from the council’s insurers.
It was clear that in order to maintain safety the event layout and security measures put in place had to be fit for purpose to address the increased demand and heightened risks.
CROWDS: The installation of the perimeter fence has given the event a safe community festival feel.
Secondly, the fence had also created a festival mentality, with those attending much more likely to follow pathways, directional signs and to create safe zones unlike the previous year where the effect of the open space was minimal.
One key aspect highlighted by the respondents who were surveyed at the show, was that the event felt more like a festival than ever before and this was supported by the crowd shape, lack of major issues and the flow through the park.
Alongside the changes to the fencing we had to clarify our Terms and Conditions of entry and prohibited items, which had been an issue at previous events. These were put in place to bring the event in line with the recommendations from the SAG (Safety Advisory Group), adhere to our statutory responsibilities and to create a healthier, safer visitor experience.
It also meant using a larger part of the park to create more space as some of the popular areas of the event had become extremely busy and congested, as well as returning the event to the original ethos of a ‘family friendly show’.
There were still children’s rides and inflatables available across the park. The aim of the changes was to achieve better integration of all age groups across the whole of the event and it was felt it was achieved this year.
Further reading: LAMBETH COUNTRY SHOW: NO HI VIZ JACKETS, PERFUME BOTTLES, FLAGS, GLASS BOTTLES – LAMBETH COUNTRY SHOW’S (VERY LONG) LIST OF WHAT’S BANNED FROM THIS YEAR’S EVENT June 21st 2018
LAMBETH COUNTRY SHOW: FULL POST-EVENT EVALUATION PROMISED July 13th 2018