Music festival thefts drop but values rise
by Gill Montia
Story link: Music festival thefts drop but values rise
Crime figures obtained by Aviva show that possessions worth £225,000 were stolen at last year’s summer music festivals.
In 2011, there were 1,101 reported incidents of thefts at eleven of the top UK festivals and according to police records, the average value per theft stood at £354.
Research by the insurer also reveals that 12% of people who have been to a festival have lost belongings or had them stolen, with the same proportion affected at other outdoor events, such as sporting fixtures.
One particularly vulnerable area at festivals is unguarded tents, with these accounting for almost three quarters of all reported thefts. The remaining quarter comprises personal thefts, mainly from pickpocketing.
Last summer saw an increase of 19% in the value of stolen possessions compared with 2010, with the most dramatic rise at the V Festival in Essex, where the value of thefts more than doubled, to almost £87,000.
However, the actual number of thefts at major festivals dropped 14% in 2011, suggesting people are taking more expensive personal items with them, such as MP3 players, cameras and smartphones.
Aviva calculates the average value of possessions taken to a festival at £1209.97 per person and is urging festival goers to consider carefully what they really need to pack.
The insurer’s top tips for avoiding theft are as follows:
Can you share who takes what among your friends? Do you really need to take an expensive watch?
Only take out as much cash as you need.
Separate cash from cards and only take one bank/credit card if you can.
Make sure pockets or handbags have zipped openings to prevent belongings being snatched.
Don’t flash the cash or the expensive hi-tech gadgets.
Keep belongings in the bottom of your sleeping bag at night.
Use the free lock-up areas provided by the festival organisers or ensure personal belongings are kept close and within sight.
Report anything lost or stolen to the police immediately and get a crime number that you can report to your insurance company.