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Last Updated: Monday, 30 June, 2003, 10:04 GMT 11:04 UK
Merseysiders held at festival
Crime was well down at the festival this year
Nearly a quarter of those arrested at Glastonbury came from Merseyside, Avon and Somerset police have revealed.

The force said 167 people had been arrested during the three-day festival, 39 of whom were from Merseyside.

The arrests generally related to drugs offences, thefts and robberies.

Officers policing the festival had specifically requested help from Merseyside Police, after a study of past statistics revealed a significant number of crimes were carried out by offenders from the region.

Overall crime at the festival has fallen dramatically - down 48% on last year - with just 316 reported crimes this time round.

Robbery was down 79% on 2002, with 16 reports compared with 78 last year.

Organiser happy

Reports of theft from the person had halved to 64, while 132 thefts from tents had been notified to police, down 26% on the previous year.

Mendip District Council had initially refused to give the festival a licence because of concerns about crime in nearby Pilton, but a spokesman for the authority told BBC News Online on Sunday the situation was "very satisfactory", adding the biggest source of complaints had been the number of fireworks let off by revellers.

Organiser Michael Eavis said he was delighted with the drop in crime, adding: "Last night was the first night ever when I haven't had a phone call in the night from some irate neighbour."

It is estimated about 135,000 were at the festival.


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