Multi agency partners are today happy to report the overall success of Rockness 2009 from the emergency services perspective on previous years.
This year saw fewer thefts, incidents of public disorder and assault. Chief Superintendent Andy Cowie commented: “Obviously from a policing perspective the event is ongoing until everyone leaves the campsite, but at present we are happy with how Rockness 2009 has gone.
“We have had fewer incidents of public disorder and assaults and I think this is reflective of the carnival atmosphere and general good humour of the crowd over the weekend.
“We have had a significant number of positive drugs searches and a total of 15 people reported to the Procurator Fiscal in connection with alleged drug possession with intent to supply, which are both up on last year.
“We are welcoming any feedback that festival goers have on the policing of the event and comments can be sent to feedback @ northern.pnn.police.uk.”
“A lot of work gone into the planning for the event which included the ‘Safeness’ aspect which I think festival goers have taken on board which has meant that the majority have stayed safe to enjoy the festival.”
Nigel Stafford from the British Red Cross gave a roundup of the field hospital activity over the weekend: "Generally this year we found that the people who required medical assistance were happy to be treated. There was a good atmosphere. Whilst Friday and Saturday night were a bit quieter than last year's event last night (Sunday) was busy.
"We found that most people who came to us in need of assistance were suffering from the effects of a previous medical condition or simply hadn't remembered to bring their prescribed medication with them (asthmatics, diabetics etc).
"We had one case where a young man suffered superficial burns to his hands after using a gas canister at the campsite. Last night we had a few people who suffered bumps and grazes from falls but overall our figures look like we had less people presenting with problems relating to illegal drug use.
"By the end of the weekend the number of people requiring medical assistance was marginally up on last year (around 800 this year) but there certainly appears to be have been fewer drug related cases."
Suzy Calder, Co-ordinator for the Highland Drug and Alcohol Action Team said: "We are very pleased to hear that less people have felt unwell through drug related issues at this year's event. We hope that the drug and alcohol safety messages are giving food for thought. As expected at any large musical festival there were a lot of people drinking alcohol but we would hope that new initiatives, such as free water at the Safeness tent, would help to reduce the ill effects of that as much as possible. It was certainly a very popular tent."
Area Manager Scott Hay, Head of Community Risk Management for Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service said “Overall, we are delighted that the event passed with only minor fire issues and most people did seem to make use of the dedicated food outlets and barbeque areas. We are glad to have been involved in such a successful event with our key emergency service partners”.
Karen Carson, NHS Highland Health Promotion Specialist (Young People and Sexual Health) said: "This year we were delighted to work in partnership to be able to provide a supply of free condoms and chat about sexual health with the young people attending the festival. As part of the Safeness initiative Brook (sexual health advice and info for under 25s) and volunteers from the Terrence Higgins Trust gave out around 30,000 condoms.
"Feedback from our volunteers is that people were really happy to come over to chat and pick up some information. The fact that they also gave out the Safeness supplies of bottled water, wet wipes, torches and rucksacks meant that there was absolutely no embarrassment in approaching the tent."