Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Crime at a record low
Police at the WOMAD festival have been hailed record breakers after crime fell to an all time low.
Only six people were arrested throughout the whole weekend - a drop of more than 75 per cent on the previous year - and only 19 reports of tent thefts were made between Thursday and Monday, compared to 100 similar thefts in 2007.
The festival, which over its 25 year history has built up a reputation as being the safest and most family friendly festival to attend, was held in the grounds of the 4,500 acre Charlton Park estate for the second time.
But this year Wiltshire Police cracked down on offenders and reduced crime by two thirds, in what organisers say is a festival record.
Chief Inspector Gavin Williams, who was overseeing the large police presence at this year's festival, said: "We managed to take out an organised gang from Manchester on Friday night and that significantly reduced crime for the rest of the weekend.
"Two of them had been arrested previously for tent thefts at Download festival.
"This is what they do for a living. I'm sure they would have made their way to Global Gathering in Warwickshire on Saturday so we were pleased to get them first."
Thousands of pounds in cash was recovered from the thieves as well as some cannabis.
"Two men had £400 each on them and another had £600 down his underpants.
"They always target the first day of a festival because people come in cash rich with all their weekend's money.
"We are really, really pleased with the result. Everyone involved is chuffed to bits."
The family friendly atmosphere meant people were also handing in lost property, including wallets full of money, ipods and digital cameras, to police.
Festival veteran Vaughn Barnett from Liverpool said: "I've been coming to WOMAD for years and it's always like this.
"If you lost anything at other festivals like Reading or Glastonbury you wouldn't see it for dust.
"But here people are more kind-spirited so they'll hand it in for you."
Police also intervened in a couple of minor assaults and their other major success story was the traffic.
Last year the poor traffic management and weather conditions caused tailbacks to the M4.
But this weekend the only queue was on Friday morning and consisted of ten cars.
Chief Inspector Williams added: "We had tow trucks in operation and as soon as cars began parking illegally they were pounced on.
"It was a huge success over all. We're so pleased it made for a really great weekend.
"After last year we had to totally rebuild the plans but now we will just be fine tuning for future festivals."