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Last Updated: Monday, 4 August, 2003, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Robbie gigs 'a success'
Robbie Williams at Knebworth Park
Williams entertained 375,000 people over three days
Officers behind the huge policing operation for Robbie Williams' three sell-out concerts say it was a success - despite traffic chaos before and after the gigs.

Months of planning were put into operation prior to the weekend when the pop-star played to 375,000 people over three nights.

But while fans complained of chaotic organisation, Hertfordshire Police has praised its officers for their tireless hard work.

Chief Superintendent Andy Wright, operational commander for the policing operation, said there had been no major incidents despite a record number of visitors.

"I take great pride in the professionalism and commitment demonstrated by my officers throughout the past seven months and indeed of those that worked over the weekend, who helped to ensure a safe and enjoyable event for the vast majority," he said.

Safety fears

But some fans were not impressed with the situation after missing the concert because of congestion or safety fears.

The first concert on Friday was marred by lengthy traffic jams on the A1 in Hertfordshire while it took six hours to clear the car parks at Knebworth Park after the Saturday gig.

Some fans also left the venue before Williams appeared on stage because they had fears about overcrowding.

Chief Superintendent Wright added: "We sympathise with those that were unable to get to the concert on Friday evening due to the heavy congestion.

"Many people chose to leave for the concerts later because of the poor weather which combined with heavy rush hour and holiday traffic aggravated the situation on the roads.
Traffic on the A1 after the concert
Car parks took up to six hours to clear after the concerts had ended
"However, people heeded our advice to leave plenty of time for their journeys on Saturday and Sunday and both days passed with few traffic problems en route to Knebworth Park."

Hertfordshire police also confirmed that it is happy the number of people inside the venue did not exceed the 125,000 limit.

Police arrested 16 people throughout the three days of concerts, which officers say is a remarkable figure.

"It was clear that the vast majority of people enjoyed the Robbie Williams concerts this weekend and the crowds were very good natured and intent on having a good time," said Chief Superintendent Wright.

"There were only 16 arrests throughout the three days - a remarkable figure given that 375,000 attended."

He added: "In conclusion I am very proud of the constabulary's contribution to the staging of this event and thank those who worked tirelessly to make it happen."

The policing operation over Friday, Saturday and Sunday was paid for by the concert promoters.


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Matt Prodger
"Hours after Robbie left the stage, people were still struggling to leave the car parks"



SEE ALSO:
Fans go wild for Robbie
02 Aug 03  |  Entertainment
Robbie's fans face disruption
27 Jul 03  |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Robbie returns to Royal Albert
21 Jul 03  |  Staffordshire
Safety fears at Robbie concert
03 Aug 03  |  Entertainment
Relaxed Robbie rocks Knebworth
03 Aug 03  |  Entertainment


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