Police will treat this year’s Bestival like a close knit community and have urged revellers to introduce themselves to their neighbours in a bid to make the Isle of Wight event safe and friendly.
Those heading to the event, which starts tomorrow (Thursday), have been advised to take some simple steps that police hope will help people to have a safe weekend.
Event lead planner Inspector Paul Savill said: "Most people coming to the Bestival want to enjoy the music and soak up the atmosphere, but some, unfortunately, have more sinister motives.
"We do everything we can to prevent people from becoming victims, but it is inevitable that some crime will take place. There are, however a few easy steps you can take to make the festival safer for you."
He advised people to only bring what they needed, not to leave valuable in cars and report anyone caught looking through their tents to Bestival staff or police — but not to challenge them.
Revellers planning on driving home will be able to have voluntary breathalyser tests to make sure they are below the drink drive limit.
Insp Martin Goodall from the force’s Roads Policing Unit said: "If you want to make sure you’re sober, voluntary breathalyser tests are available again this year at the Bestival campsite police office for anyone who genuinely wants to drive but is unsure if their alcohol level has returned to zero.
"All you have to do is breathe into the kit and we’ll let you know whether or not you’re safe to get behind the wheel. You won’t be arrested if you’re over the limit, but you will be told not drive.
"Everyone takes a risk when they get inside a car, but if you choose — and make no mistake, it is a choice — to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol you’re more likely to crash and more likely to kill or seriously injure yourself, your friends and anyone who happens to be in the way."
As in previous years there will be specialist drug officers and dogs working to stop drugs getting on to the site, as well as amnesty bins where people can dump drugs before entering the event.
Twitter favourite @FestivalCop will be operating throughout the weekend, using the social network to keep people up to date with information.
Insp Savill said: "We treat the Bestival as though we were policing any other close-knit community with tried and tested neighbourhood policing methods.
"There are uniform foot and cycle patrols in and around the event 24 hours a day, and a police campsite office at the base of path from Campsite Entrance One between the Wishing Tree and Red Camping Sites. This is situated next to the main medical centre, lost property and welfare tents.
"Bobbies on the tweet beat will again play an important part of our interaction with Bestival-goers and the wider community.
"We had an incredible amount of positive feedback to own dedicated @FestivalCop Twitter channel at the Isle of Wight Festival.
"People appreciated officers answering questions, giving top tips on how to stay safe, and updates on the advice and support we were giving to people affected by the adverse weather. Please follow us @FestivalCop during the Bestival."
Legal highs have again been banned from the event and police warned that legal did not mean safe.
Insp Savill said the rest of the Isle of Wight would not be neglected by police over the weekend.
"It’s always important to remember that the rest of the Isle of Wight is not neglected during a major festival week.
"We have enough officers and staff on duty to respond to emergencies as normal, so do not be reluctant in reporting crime or anti-social behaviour."
Police advice on how to have a safe Bestival:
ONLY BRING WITH YOU WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD TO LOSE
● There is no way you can make a tent 100 per cent secure so only bring what you absolutely need.
● Do not be tempted to leave valuables in your vehicle either.
● Do not challenge people looking through tents – report them to Bestival staff or the police immediately.
MARK YOUR PROPERTY
● Label your belongings, including your tent, with your postcode.
● Thieves are after unidentifiable property, so make sure the markings are obvious and indelible.
● Before you come to the Bestival register your property such as mobile phones and cameras for free at www.immobilise.com and help the police to return stolen items to their rightful owner.
PROTECT YOUR MOBILE PHONE
● Do this now: on your mobile phone key in *#06# and your unique International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number will be displayed.
● Make a note of this number so that if you lose your phone or if it is stolen you can contact your service provider to have the phone immobilised.
● Whilst on site keep it in a buttoned/zipped pocket, secure bag or use a lanyard to keep it secured to your clothing.
● Tracking software and apps are available for laptops and SmartPhones. If you're bringing yours consider downloading this software to help the police reunite your property should it be stolen.
CAMP NEAR FRIENDS
● There is safety in numbers. Say 'hello’ to your neighbours to build a community feeling and provide greater security around your tent.
KEEP CASH AND POSSESSIONS ON YOU
● Do not keep all your money, bank cards and valuables together – spread them around in different pockets.
● Before going to sleep, place them in a plastic bag and hide it in your sleeping bag with you.
● There will be lockers available on site for rental – please use them!