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Tent Robbers

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I noticed at the Wickham Festival they had CCTV covering the main Festival site and part of the campsite. One of the organisers told me it was 'movement-activated' so anyone moving between stalls or tents at night would be videoed. They didn't have a single theft from a tent at Wickham so maybe CCTV is a good deterrent. It might be costly but a basic temporary system ought to be affordable to Festival organisers who stand to benefit from increased ticket sales if their site is known to be safe.

CCTV is fairly cheep even the IR systems that would be needed at night and using 2.4GHz wireless connections easily installed. Having publicly visible monitor screens to show they are not dummy cameras might help deter these ******** (Skumbags really isn’t bad enough).

The idea of being watched and videoed all the time is abhorrent to me but, (sadly) a necessary evil nowadays.

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CCTV is fairly cheep even the IR systems that would be needed at night and using 2.4GHz wireless connections easily installed. Having publicly visible monitor screens to show they are not dummy cameras might help deter these ******** (Skumbags really isn’t bad enough).

The idea of being watched and videoed all the time is abhorrent to me but, (sadly) a necessary evil nowadays.

why is being video'd as you go about your life now a necessary evil? Crime, and the risks to a person from crime, are very little different now from how they've always been.

And CCTV does not protect people from crime, nor do they reduce crime - they simply displace it. :blink:

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While reporting a theft to the police at WOMAD one of the coppers suggested rigging a pin pull rape alarm from the zip taught to a tent peg inside the tent - when i suggested this is more likely to frighten kids than the robbers he didn't seem to understand.

We were able to watch the gangs wandering about and report them with descriptions - why can't the police hang out in the campsite and do the same?

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This is a serious point, if I was to wake up in the night at Reading, find two blokes going through my stuff, would I be legally entitled to whack them with the closest object to hand i.e my mallet? Or would I have to say I thought they were going to rape my girlfriend/ knife me etc?

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I've been to loads of festivals and never had a problem...

Just stick to the "dont bring valuables" philosophy and even if you were to be robbed, the most that would go would be my tinned food or sleeping bag, which would just be hassle...

The only "valuables" I have with me are my mobile phone... (use the loop to tie it too ure jeans), cash and a chip n pin debit card which I keep in a small wallet, (free from train station) again tied to my jeans)...

I hide my house keys buried in my front garden (alot more secure than the festy site!) and any return train tickets I put in a train wallet, then put them inside an old crisp packet or something, then stuff it under my tent... just looks like trash...

It is friggin gay tho, my mate took his guitar to the Cambridge Folk Fest and it was nicked, by legitimate festival goers as he saw them leaving with it the next morning (managed to get it back tho, they had some sort of cover story of course...)

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This is a serious point, if I was to wake up in the night at Reading, find two blokes going through my stuff, would I be legally entitled to whack them with the closest object to hand i.e my mallet? Or would I have to say I thought they were going to rape my girlfriend/ knife me etc?

I think you have to be able to show you were in fear for your safety - so 2 randoms appearing menacing in the middle of the night could probably account for that.

However, if you weallop one with your mallet and they take off, you then can't chase them and continue bashing them - cos the threat has been removed when they start to run.

Simiolarly, if your first whack would render the guy unconscious, you would get in trouble for continuing to bash him.

Of course, if just waking up and waving the mallet is enough to make them leg it then you can't hit them at all I'm afraid.

Tjis is based on how I understand the rules for people in your house - not sure how they translate to tents, but I reckon you'd have a good argument for the situation being the same!

That is brilliant :blink: Might have to nick that idea off you (and yours too benj!)

Feel free to pinch away!

Oh yes, if you do decide to lock your door when yopu are in the tent, please please please make sure its something you and all people in your tent can open and get out quickly.

I have a massive fear of tent fires so could never lock myself in!!!

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We padlock the inside door of our tent when we go off for the day, but we've only been to Wychwood and they've got a great rep for low crime.

Yeah, don't do that at somewhere like Womad, Big Chill, Glade or anywhere else they've had a lot of crime this year (def don't do it at Glasto or Reading!!) as this is just a great glaring sign to robbers that you've got stuff in there worth stealing. If they want to rob your tent and it's not padlocked, they nick your stuff. If they want to rob your tent and it is padlocked, they knife your tent and take your stuff. I'd rather still have a whole tent, personally. :blink:

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Yeah, don't do that at somewhere like Womad, Big Chill, Glade or anywhere else they've had a lot of crime this year (def don't do it at Glasto or Reading!!) as this is just a great glaring sign to robbers that you've got stuff in there worth stealing. If they want to rob your tent and it's not padlocked, they nick your stuff. If they want to rob your tent and it is padlocked, they knife your tent and take your stuff. I'd rather still have a whole tent, personally. :P

It's a no win situation! :blink: We never have anything valuable in the tent, I just don't want some stranger rummaging through my undies! ;)

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I've met few festie goers this naive, I think you're wildly exaggerating that. And I don't really like the sound of festie goers being blamed, either.

Not wildly exaggerating I assure you- I could name names but it wouldn't be fair, I'm sure it's not a very widely held view but I heard it a few times this summer, including from some friends I was camping with, the girls at Latitude whose tent was robbed and their neighbours... and from the colleague who'd left the work mobile in her tent at Glasto, and was genuinely shocked it got stolen 'because you don't expect that sort of thing at Glastonbury' :blink:

I'm not really blaming the festie-goers, we should all be able to enjoy these events without having to worry about thefts, and I agree that improved security is a big part of the solution- and, as you say, well-trained security who know what they're doing. When the tents were being robbed at Latitude, the security just didn't seem to know what to do, unfortunately, while the thieves were still running amock across the campsite!

Edited by minkitzka

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While locking your tent when you're out can often act as a big advertisement to thieves, I don't think Ive heard anyone mention locking it from the inside when you're sleeping at night as yet.

Not a good idea. If there's a case of fire or other need to evacuate your tent quickly, the seconds wasted trying to find your keys could well make a big difference.

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Not if you sleep with them on you. Tied round your neck/wrist on a bit of string or something....

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Not a good idea. If there's a case of fire or other need to evacuate your tent quickly, the seconds wasted trying to find your keys could well make a big difference.

According to a fire safetly leaflet here:

http://www.firekills.gov.uk/leaflets/pdf/2...tent%20fires%22

a fire can destroy a tent in 60 seconds - just a few seconds unlocking your zip could be fatal.

I'm not saying don't lock your tent at night if it makes you feel safer, but please be aware of this and make sure you take enough precautions to ensure everyone will be able to get out!

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sv605r_dt.jpg

I always carry one of those ^^^

I even sleep in the bugger

I would like to see these on sale, at a reasonable price, close to the entrance of the festivals.

Edited by Haggis

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sv605r_dt.jpg

I always carry one of those ^^^

I i even sleep in the bugger

I would like to see these on sale, at a reasonable price, close to the entrance of the festivals.

Are you very small ;):blink:

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sv605r_dt.jpg

I always carry one of those ^^^

I even sleep in the bugger

I would like to see these on sale, at a reasonable price, close to the entrance of the festivals.

Absolutely - I even wear one at larger gigs, less easy to pick-pocket.. Fits really discretely under a shirt, they're comfortable so you can sleep in it, and I always keep the majority of my money in it, and transfer maybe £30 into a trouser pocket each morning, so you can even budget well with one of those, and always keep back an emergency tenner in case I have to get to the nearest town if I miss my coach.

Always worth safety-pinning it together as well as using the clasp though for extra security.

Edited by OneLittleFish

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Only had one bag I left out in my tent at Phoenix 96 stolen. Gutted cos I lost my irreplacable Glasto 95 necklace but the bag had no money in it cos I was using my money bag as a pillow!

My advice for hiding valuables when sleeping is shove all the important stuff - phone/wallet/ID at the bottom of your sleeping bag and get in. Unless the teeves cut you physically out of your sleeping bag then you should be safe.

I dont know if its the right thing to do but I basically make my tent into a veritable bombsite! Every piece of clothing comes out of the rucksack and gets strewn across the tent, I just make sure that my bedclothes are in a memorable place before I leave for the day/night! By making the tent look such an incredible mess without an obvious full bag target to lift I hope that this method has worked for me. At Glade last year the tents next to me were looked in, if mine was I hope they were put off by the sheer mess of it!

On the subject of 'locking' your tent, I use the zip ties/toggles and weave them into each other to make access a little slower for any teef. Also I place the inner tent access at the opposite side to the locked outer entrance. When asleep at night I do the same on the inside. Outer access on one side so if you are able to hear your tent being unzipped then you know the teef is going to be fumbling for the inner tent zip access.

Tent fires - SHOULDNT be a problem in this new climate of fire free fests. Altho I was witness to the exploding of Welsh teeves at Glasto 97. The evil smack addicted chavs that were camped next to us were witnessed hitting as many tents as they could except ours cos we were neighbours. We informed the police who arrived 4 hours later!!!! By then there was nothing they could do except take their smack off them. The desperate twats then found one tiny amount and lit the spoon in a tent that had seconds earlier had a gas canister changed in it. You can imagine the rest! The fireball was visible from the Stone Circle. We were camped under the pylon at the top of the Pyramid field!!!! Thats 2 miles away!!!!!!!! The chav who was inside the burning tent was completely covered in melting plastic. We did nothing to help cos we were so angry at them and actually shouted they deserved everything they got! Someone smacked this chav to pieces with his sowester to put out the flames but to be honest we were far more concerned about our friends who were locked in their tent 2 feet away from the explosion. THEY were so lucky not to have got caught in the fire.

BUT kids DO be careful with gas and tents. At night you can see the blue flames from a fallen trangia but in the daytime its not so obvious and NOT a pretty sight or expereince as your home for the weekend melts before your eyes. Glasto 99 was a particularly heavy year for tent fires due to Trangia spills and gas canister changing. Quite a few casualties I recall.

I DONT understand people who leave their wallets and phones in their tent. They are just asking for trouble! There are lockups provided forgawdsake! Shove your money way under your tent if needs be or put it in a crisp packet as mentioned earlier.

And the best advice on how not to lose your phones while at festies is get those lanyards from previous festies, attach phone to lanyard then tie lanyard to belt tags on your strides. Now there is no chance that your phone will slip from your pocket whilst completly f**ked (eh Scooby!? :blink: )

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I wish more festivals had property lock-ups. The only places I've seen them is Glasto and Leeds.

If you come by public transport, you have no option but to carry all your valuables on you where lock-ups aren't available. I guess being part of an on-line community, we have the luxury of safety in numbers at several of the festivals we attend as a group. Certainly at Beautiful Days, I felt very safe as everyone knew everyone. However, it didn't detract me from remaining vigilant.

I like the idea of cashpoints at festivals BUT I don't like the fact you get charged £2.50 a pop for using them. If you are on a limited budget (as several festival goers are), those £2.50 charges soon mount up!

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned postcoding your kit yet. It is printed in the Glastonbury "Fine Guide" every year and I can testify it works after getting my rucksack (full of toiletries) nicked at Leeds. I got my bag returned intact except for an unused disposable camera.

Finally, a really simple tip. Hammer all your tent pegs in at an angle like this / instead of vertical [. Not only will it make it harder to lift your tent, but given the Great British Weather, won't blow away so easily either!

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The only deterrent i can think of which worked well at Glastonbury before the superfence where the 'honeytrap' tents set up by police - when they announced they had them in the campsites crime figures fell that year and they caught lots of thieves too - they got a couple of gangs in Pennards vtoo that year.

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I've been thinking about this topic for a while. I remember that many years back when I first went to festivals we always had someone posted to stand guard over the tents.

We always camped with friends and although we had less valuables than the modern day festiveller it was for that reason that if we had our food or sleeping bags stolen, we would not be able to replace them. Most of what we had in the the way of camping equipment was borrowed from parents or in-laws and none of us wanted to go hungary or go home with a sorry tale. :blink:

Back then [1980's onwards] many of the events I was at were 'biker meets' and I witnessed how the Hells Angels metered 'justice' . One afternoon one such thief was hauled up onto the stage in front of several thousand people. The MC introduced this him to us; full name, address, list of thefts committed and then asked the crowd what they thought should be done with him. He was then asked if he would like to be driven with his stash to the local nick or be dealt with there and then in the way the crowd appeared to have favoured. Wisely he chose the former. It drove home the message to any 'would be' thieves in the crowd. Unless they kept their light-fingered hands in their pockets, they too could join him backstage where he was being booted into the back of a Transit van by some representatives of the Angels 'legal dept' It worked, only took 5 minutes of our day and consequently thefts were virtually unheard of . Policing the site required no more than one full-time copper and a couple of Specials . They didn't really need to much more than direct the site traffic in and out of the site entrance, all other security was in-house. ;)

It strikes me that nowadays a fair size proportion of my ticket money is being paid to cover the cost of policing and security. Are we getting protection ? Are we any safer for it ? Is it reducing crime at festivels ? We would probably be just as safe with half the police and security if we were prepared to look out for ourselves a little bit more . I know that to get licences for events and that it has become a neccessary thing to buy in security from specialists and I know that public lynchings are not going to go down too well with most people. However Imo, the fact is that even if a thief is caught at a festival, getting a conviction through a court is at best very difficult and in any event it does not have any impact upon reducing crime in the short term .

Lob 'em in the 'Long drop toilets ' then read 'em their rights.... :P

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I find the best theft prevention is to scatter all your belongings out in your tent. Thieves don't want to send a long time looking for valuables and will go for someone who has left all their gear in bags.

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