Multi-agency partners want to ensure a safe event at Belladrum 2015

Issued by Police Scotland - North Communications

Now in its 12th year, multi-agency partners are seeking to ensure another safe event at the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival 2015.

Multi-agency partners consisting of Police Scotland, British Red Cross, Highland Council, Highland Alcohol and Drugs Partnership, NHS Highland, Scottish Ambulance Service and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service are seeking a safe and enjoyable event for those who are attending and working at the Belladrum Festival 2015.

The event, which takes place at Belladrum Estate, by Beauly, starts on Thursday 6th August and continues until Saturday 8th August, with camping on site until the 9th August. The festival is expected to attract around 18,000 people.

The organisers and all agencies involved are keen to assure that all appropriate measures will be in place to maximise public safety and enjoyment of the event.

Police Scotland Event Commander, Chief Inspector Mairi MacInnes said: "We will be employing our tried and tested community policing approach to local Summer Musical Festivals, with the focus of keeping people safe, however together with stewards we will take action as required to prevent disorder and antisocial or criminal behaviour which compromises safety or spoils the event for others.

"Belladrum is a family festival with large numbers of young people in attendance, therefore it is additionally important to drink responsibly and we will take appropriate action if we come across underage drinking. Festival-goers are reminded that the terms and conditions of purchased tickets clearly state that persons under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult on entering the festival venue and at all times while attending the festival. Know the whereabouts of youngsters under your supervision and assist the police and other agencies in ensuring that no young person comes to any harm."

Keep Safe Festival advice is available on the Police Scotland website and will be displayed around the Belladrum site and provides practical information on personal safety:

- Personal safety: stay with friends and family; stay in busy areas; stay alert.

- Protecting valuables: guard against pickpockets; stay alert and only take items you will need.

- Anti-social behaviour: do not carry weapons; do not carry flares or any other form of pyrotechnic; respect local communities and residents.

- At the festival: ensure you have your ticket/wristband; follow the directions of police and stewards; know where your pick up and drop off points are; know which zone your tent is in.

- Travel safety: plan in advance; leave enough time for your journey; ensure you're not under the influence of alcohol from the night before.

- Contact the police: In an emergency dial 999; dial 101 for non-emergency matters; report anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Chief Inspector MacInnes added: "Our Community Safety officers will be available, from 12pm to 8pm, within the ‘Safer Communities’ tent which will be sited near the entrance to the Red Campsite. These officers will not only be able to offer advice and support in respect of stay safe/crime prevention issues but will also have a laptop linked to the “Immobilise.com’ website which is a national website used to trace lost or stolen mobile phones. Revellers will be able to add their phone details to this database, for free; vastly increasing their chances of a speedy return should their phone go missing.

“By following our Keep Safe Festival advice it will help to make the Belladrum Festival 2015 an enjoyable, memorable and safe experience for everyone and we all have a part to play in making sure this happens."

Debbie Stewart, Coordinator for Highland Alcohol & Drugs Partnership said: “Our message to everyone attending this year’s local festivals is: we hope you have a great time, enjoy the music and soak up the atmosphere.

“We urge you to eat well, drink plenty of water and stay safe. The best way to stay safe is to drink sensibly. You can pace yourself by drinking slowly, avoid mixing drinks, switch between alcohol and soft drinks or shift to a lower strength of alcohol.

“Don’t take unnecessary risks. Our advice is to avoid taking drugs. Substances like ecstasy and cocaine can cause dehydration and overheating, especially when mixed with alcohol and taken whilst dancing in warm temperatures.

“Also, just because a substance claims to be legal, it doesn’t mean it is, and it doesn’t mean it is safe. Many so called legal highs contain illegal substances and research chemicals that haven’t been properly tested.

“If someone is unable to avoid taking drugs or drink sensibly, then 1) make sure you know what you are taking, 2) be aware of the amount you are taking and 3) be aware of the risk of becoming ill or overdosing particularly from taking drugs and alcohol together.

“Keep an eye on your friends. If you do notice someone becoming ill, get help straight away.

Elspeth Lee, NHS Highland Health Improvement Specialist, said: "Remember to take a supply of condoms with you, even if you think you're not likely to need them. Things can change a lot over the course of a weekend. It may be quite difficult to get condoms once you're there. Condoms can protect women from getting pregnant and can protect everyone from getting Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

"It is especially important during the warm summer months for festival goers to enjoy the sun safely. Avoid getting burnt by the sun by covering up or staying in the shade between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its strongest.

"Use sun screen to help prevent getting burnt, using at least a factor 15 and remember to re-apply regularly. Take extra care with children as their skin is delicate and keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water."

Anne Eadie, Events First Aid Services Manager with British Red Cross said: "It is Belladrum time and we want everyone who attends the Festival to have a safe, enjoyable and memorable time. The British Red Cross works very closely with its partners to ensure all festival goers are as safe as possible.

"This summer has not been at all seasonal and those attending should check out the weather forecast before making their way to the site. Bring appropriate clothing and dress for the occasion (remember sun cream, wellies and waterproofs!!).

Remember to stay hydrated and to bring any personal medication with you. Keep an eye on your friends and make sure they do the same for you. If in any doubt, seek help from any of the first aiders about the site.”

Iain Mackay Resilience Adviser at the Scottish Ambulance Service said: "Anyone taking medication should let their friends know what it is and make sure that they bring enough with them to the festival. Everyone should keep hydrated, whether or not it's sunny and bring clothing for all conditions."

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Group Manager John MacDonald hopes that everyone enjoys the Belladrum Tartan Heart Music Festival safely.

He said: “Scottish Fire and Rescue Service would like people to enjoy themselves and remember the festival for all the right reasons.

“We would urge people to enjoy the stunning scenery but always bear safety in mind. Tents can be ‘gone in 60 seconds’ and are particularly susceptible to fire so it’s crucial that you don’t pitch them too close together. If there is a fire then this will stop it spreading from one tent to another.

“We would also encourage people not to smoke inside tents and use torches instead of candles as they are much safer. If you are using BBQs then never use inside or near the entrances to tents as they can give off poisonous carbon monoxide fumes which can be fatal. And those using camping gas canisters are encouraged to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and don’t use inside tents. It is also crucial that people never cook whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”

Carbon CLEVER will be working with Pat Munro Waste Services to help make Belladrum the first zero waste to landfill festival in Scotland.

Stephen Carr, Principal Policy Officer – Climate Change at The Highland Council said: “Belladrum provides a fantastic opportunity for festival goers to be Carbon CLEVER superheroes and make Bella one of the most environmentally-conscious festivals in Europe. We are excited to be working with Pat Munro and the organisers in trying to make Belladrum a zero waste to landfill festival, which is a great ambition and demonstrates real leadership.”

“Carbon CLEVER, which has the aim of a low carbon Highlands by 2025, will be running an exciting programme of events at this year’s festival including a team of Environmental Superheroes, who will be promoting good behaviour in fun and interactive ways with festival goers, a pub quiz, a “Carbon Court”, as well as various activities at their stall in the Walled Garden.”

David Haas, Highland Council's Inverness City Area Manager said: "Highland Council is pleased to work again with our multi-agency planning partners and the Belladrum event organisers to help deliver a successful festival for all to enjoy in a safe and friendly environment. The Council welcomes the positive profile and significant benefits to the City of Inverness and the wider Highlands that Belladrum brings to the region."

3 Aug 2015
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