Have a great time at Rhythms - but make sure you stay safe and ‘legal highs’ are banned, say police

Rhythms of the World

Rhythms of the World - Credit: Archant

With Hitchin’s Rhythms of the World festival set to attracts thousands of fans to the grounds of Hitchin Priory this weekend, police have sounded a note of caution to make sure people stay safe during the celebration of music from around the corner and around the world.

Chief Insp Julie Whealtey, who heads the police team covering North Herts, said this week: “Rhythms is a wonderful event that brings people together to enjoy the music and festival atmosphere.

“We want everyone to have a great time but to ensure they behave responsibly by not drinking too much and putting themselves and others at risk.”

The police messages are reminders for everyone’s benefit and include:

Drinking too much alcohol can have devastating consequences on your life and could lead you into trouble with the police. It can make you more aggressive, more likely to commit a crime and impair your judgement.

You’re less in control if you’re drunk and more vulnerable to being a victim of crime, including having your wallet or mobile phone stolen, being assaulted or even sexually assaulted.

Drunken behaviour, including urinating in public, could result in police action such as an £80 fine or a night in the cells.

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Chief Insp Wheatley said: “Although such incidents are extremely rare at Rhythms, we do not want people’s lives to be ruined by the dangers of drugs and officers will work closely with organisers to intercept illegal and harmful substances.

“In addition to this, the sale of so-called ‘legal highs’ such as nitrous oxide are also banned at the event. If reports of any sales or usage are received, security staff and the police will take action.

Festival chair Amy Hopkins said: “We’re glad that Rhythms has been a relatively trouble-free event to date and we have worked hard with the relevant authorities, including the police, to ensure this continues in 2015.

“We support all advice offered by the police to ensure everyone has an enjoyable festival weekend. Rhythms of the World is a fabulous event for people of all ages and following these useful tips will ensure everyone involved enjoys every last second of it.”

Other police tips include:

Know your limits and drink responsibly. Stop when you know you have had enough.

You can still enjoy alcohol but it is important to drink responsibly and stay safe. You can still have a great time if you alternate drinks with soft drinks or low alcohol ones. Drink more slowly and consume alcohol with food.

Make sure you and your friends all look after one another and get home safely.

Nominate a designated driver, use public transport or get a licensed taxi home.

Leave valuables at home if you can.

If you are bringing expensive items, such as phones and cameras, take a bit of time to register any property so if it is stolen and recovered it can be returned to you. The best thing to do is register your property at www.immobilise.com.

Where possible, do not leave any valuables in your vehicles.

If you do have to leave items in your vehicle make sure they are hidden before you arrive in case anyone is watching.

Open your glove compartment to show that there is nothing of value left in the vehicle.

If you have a sat nav, make sure you move it out of sight and get rid of all suction marks on the windscreen.

Don’t show off what valuables you do have with you – it could make you a target for criminals. Put money, tickets, credit cards and mobile phones in a zipped pocket or use a money belt.

In the event of an incident follow instructions from stewards and police.