THE Summer Solstice at Stonehenge and Avebury has been hailed by the police as a mostly peaceful event.

The celebrations, which started on Monday (June 20) evening and continued until the early hours of Tuesday (June 21) saw 12,000 people turn up to see the sunrise at the Stonehenge site and up to 400 also showing up at Avebury.

Three incidents were dealt with by Wiltshire Police at the Stonehenge site where a 33-year-old woman from Burford being arrested on suspicion of drink driving, being taken to Melksham Custody. Another man was given a fixed penalty notice for a drug offence and a 24-year-old man was also taken to Melksham Police Station after being arrested on suspicion of sexual assault.

Superintendent Mark Sellers, Wiltshire Police, said: “The policing operation this year focused on protecting the monument and environment by maintaining the integrity of the road network, minimising any impact on local communities and ultimately supporting English Heritage to ensure a safe and peaceful event for all.

“With an event of this size and nature a large amount of traffic is inevitable but our forward planning with Wiltshire Council, security staff and stewards, the Highways Agency and English Heritage meant that any issues were dealt with effectively.

“These changes for Solstice 2016 have proved a great success, with people celebrating at Stonehenge in a positive, friendly atmosphere as they waited for the sunrise.”

English Heritage has also shown their appreciation to the police and those who attended the event for making this year's celebration enjoyable.

Kate Davies, English Heritage's General Manager of Stonehenge, said: "The Summer Solstice at Stonehenge is one of the most special times in the year for the monument. This year, we had a spectacular strawberry moon and a glorious sunrise. We were delighted to see how many families came to the solstice this year.

"We are pleased with how the celebrations have gone. This year we introduced some changes and people embraced them, both respecting and understanding the reason for these changes. The Summer Solstice celebrations at Stonehenge is a major operation and we couldn't do it without our partners, especially the police and Wiltshire Council."