Police recovered more than one hundred mobile 'phones at the Download music festival.
The phones were found during the rock festival at Donington Park in North West Leicestershire which attracted record crowds of 120,000 - including 73,000 campers. Officers from Leicestershire Constabulary worked with colleagues from the Metropolitan Police's National Mobile Phone Crime Unit (NMPCU) to tackle this area of crime.
The police had 195 crimes reported to them compared to 332 in 2009 - which was a reduction of 41%. The three day event, which attracted 40,000 more people than last year, passed off without major incident.
The organisers of Download, Live Nation, have kindly agreed to meet the £7 cost of returning a phone to its rightful owner by registered post. John Probyn, Chief Operating Officer of Live Nation, said; "We have an excellent working relationship with Leicestershire police and our security teams that we have developed over the past 8 years of Download. These results are proof that a common approach by all parties can help reduce crime and improve the safety of our customers. Live Nation will be covering the cost of returning as many mobile phones as possible to their rightful owners."
DC Kev Walker from Leicestershire Constabulary said; "Thanks to excellent collaboration between ourselves and our colleagues from the Met we recovered a large number of phones at this year's Download Festival. I am really pleased to say that we have managed to trace the owners of nearly all the phones so, thanks to Live Nation, they will soon be on their way to their rightful owners."
Detective Inspector, Mark Loving, said; "The NMPCU are keen to work with local officers in forces across the UK, as we have just done with Leicestershire, to target harden venues, educate festival goers and provide a hostile environment for anybody considering criminal activity. We would urge gig goers to register their possessions for free on immobilise.com or any similar property recording websites to facilitate the prompt return of any lost or stolen items."
During the festival, two men, aged 23 and 27 and both French Algerian nationals, were arrested and charged with possession of criminal property. They were remanded into custody until 26th July 2010 where they will appear at Loughborough Magistrates Court. A 22 year old man from Romania was also arrested on suspicion of theft of cash and a mobile phone and bailed until 10th August 2010.