Reading Festival is one of the biggest police operations in the area and with festival goers beginning to arrive at the campsite today (August 21), we take a look back to last year's crime.


Almost 100 crimes were reported to police at last year's Reading Festival weekend.

A total of 49 arrests were made between 1pm on Wednesday (August 22 2018) and 8am on Monday (August 27 2018), with 98 crimes being reported to police by the public.

Of these, 35 related to theft, 15 were for drug possession and 10 for possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply.

Thames Valley Police worked closely with the event's organisers, Festival Republic, and partner agencies to ensure the festival was as safe as possible.

Sniffer dogs, bag searches and regular police patrols were in action over the weekend, which saw around 100,000 people descend on the town for the weekend of music.

A drug testing facility was used on-site by festival Republic to test the strength and composition of illegal drugs which had been confiscated by officers, providing invaluable information to assist emergency services.

Superintendent Rory Freeman, Silver Commander for Reading Festival, said: “The festival is one of the biggest annual policing events within the Thames Valley which takes a great deal of planning and resourcing.

“A range of visible security measures were in place, including the use of detection dogs, bag searches and public engagement through regular police patrols. There were also a number of additional security measures that couldn’t be seen.

"With an audience of 100,000 people, there were 98 crimes reported during the festival. Of these reports, 35 related to theft, 15 for drug possession and 10 for possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply.

“The total number of arrests, 49, remains a comparatively small figure for such a major public event.

“I would like to thank all of those involved in the planning, preparation and delivery of the festival, as well as our officers and staff who policed the event to keep the public safe.”

Speaking about this year's event, a spokesperson from Thames Valley Police said: “Thames Valley Police works closely with the organisers of Reading Festival to ensure a safe, secure and enjoyable event for those who attend.

"The policing plan is reviewed every year to ensure it meets the needs of the event, and levels of reported crime have fallen significantly since 2016.”