Boomtown: £70,000 Of Drugs Seized At Hampshire Festival

13 August 2014, 10:06 | Updated: 13 August 2014, 10:09

Hampshire Police say they arrested 60 people at last weekend's Boomtown Fair and seized £70,000 worth of drugs.

They say overall, crime at the festival at the Matterley Bowl near Winchester was down this year.

A police statement said:

'In comparison to previous years, reports of theft, criminal damage, assault and possession of drugs have reduced, whilst the multi agency operation supported by the event organisers to target persons dealing drugs has led to an increase in the number of arrests for drugs supply offences
'Initial information, which may change as reports will continue to be received after the event, shows that by the end of the festival:
- Approximately £70,000 of drugs were seized.
- £15,000 in cash was seized at the event under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
- Around sixty people were arrested and dealt with away from the event.
- Violence remained very low, with only four reports received
- Sixty-four thefts from tents had been reported, compared to eighty-two immediately following the festival in 2013.

'Hampshire Constabulary worked alongside Winchester City Council, Hampshire Highways and Boomtown's traffic management organisers to tackle traffic congestion on the roads surrounding the site. While there was an increase in traffic as vehicles entered and left the site in large numbers, the traffic management plan being operated minimised significant disruption on all major routes.'
Chief Inspector Ian Whyton who oversaw policing at the event said:

“I’m pleased that these initial statistics reflect a successful policing operation at BoomTown this year. In partnership with the event organisers and Winchester City Council, Hampshire Constabulary worked hard to ensure the safety of around 36,000 members of the public onsite.
“While these figures may change in the days following the festival as more reports are made to us, they provide an indication that our proactive approach alongside our partners and event organisers to tackling issues such as drug possession and theft has really paid off this year. The festival organisers have also helped to target the supply of drugs, onsite especially by promoting an extremely powerful message from the family of Ellie Rowe about the dangers of drug usage.
“In relation to the death of a thirty-one year old woman on Saturday, August 9; a post-mortem has returned the cause of death as hanging, to be investigated. Police are not treating the death as suspicious at this time and the matter has now been handed to the coroner. An inquest has been opened and adjourned until October 7. Our thoughts are with the woman’s family following this tragic event and we have provided support to her relatives including her husband, who was at the festival with her”.

31-year-old Lisa Marie Williamson, from Bromyard in Herefordshire, was found collapsed in a toilet while at the event with her husband. She was taken to hospital, where doctors tried to revive her, but was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

Hampshire Police cordoned off the scene where she was discovered at around 1.50pm.

An inquest opened yesterday (Tuesday 12 August) in Winchester. The Central Hampshire Coroner said the cause of death was hanging.

A full inquest will be held in Winchester on 7 October 2014.

A spokeswoman for the festival said:

"BoomTown fair would like to express their sincerest condolences to the family of the young woman who was found unconscious on site.

"Our thoughts are with all her loved ones at this tragic time and the festival is doing all it can to assist those involved."

Last year, 18-year-old Ellie Rowe, from Glastonbury in Somerset, died at the festival after taking horse tranquilliser ketamine.