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Dispersal order in place for Reading Festival

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Powers reinstated to tackle disorder associated with ticket touts and crime groups

Thames Valley Police and Reading Borough Council, as part of Reading's Community Safety Partnership, have signed a dispersal order to help tackle crime and anti-social behaviour at this year's Reading Festival.

The implementation of the order follows a reduction in crime and disorder associated with ticket touts and other organised crime groups after the same dispersal order powers were used at last year's festival.

Dispersal orders were introduced in 2003 as part of the Anti-social Behaviour Act.

It gives police the power to request that a group disperse immediately or within a given time frame.

The police will use these powers to disrupt aggressive and persistent ticket touting around the festival site.

If a group refuses to disperse they can be arrested and any member of that group, who does not live within the dispersal order area, will be told not to return to the area for 24 hours. If they do they can be arrested.

Ticket touts have caused problems for a number of years at the festival site and the surrounding area by buying and selling tickets in a pushy and intimidating manner.

Some also took money from unsuspecting festival goers and then simply disappeared. The dispersal Order powers were successfully used last year to keep touts away from the area, allowing those attending the festival to go to and from the site without being approached.

The Reading Festival Dispersal Order will run from Monday, August 22, until Monday, August 29 and will cover the main perimeter of the site and immediate surrounding area.

Supt Stuart Greenfield, said: “This legislation is a preventative measure to stop crime and, policed correctly, I would expect it to reduce the numbers of victims of crime we have at the festival.

“Reading Festival should be an enjoyable experience for all those who attend and it should have a positive impact on the local community. Reducing the opportunity for people to commit crime, through legislation such as this, is a positive move towards that aim.”

The final names have now been announced to the line up as the preparations get underway.

New names to be added to the alternate stage include comedian Paul Chowdhry, Co-star and co-writer of Frankie Boyle's ‘Tramadol Nights' on Channel Four, Tom Slade, MC Wayne Deakin and comedian Mike Bubbins.

Reading Festival is held on August 26 to August 28 at Little John's Farm.

The full line-up and further information can be found at www.readingfestival.com

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