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Police will call parents if children are left alone at Belladrum

By Andrew Dixon

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Constable Gary Dunlop speaks to youngsters at Belladrum 2010.
Constable Gary Dunlop speaks to youngsters at Belladrum 2010.

POLICE are urging parents not to leave children unattended at Belladrum Tartan Heart music festival next month — or they will be called to collect them immediately.

Officers have found several youngsters, under 16-years-old, worse for wear at the annual event in the past only to discover they were not with a responsible adult.

"Although we are responsible for public safety it is parents who are responsible for the safety and welfare of their children — they must ensure that youngsters are accompanied by an appropriate adult," insisted acting superintendent Jim Neil, the police’s event commander.

"Parents of any child who are found without supervision will be contacted and asked to uplift them from the event."

Officers and stewards will keep a look out for any youngsters attempting to scale fences to gain entry to the event on 5th and 6th August after several cases last year.

Anyone caught could be reported to the procurator fiscal.

Alcohol will be seized from anyone under 18-years-old and disposed of by officers, who will deal with any incidents of underage drinking robustly.

Any instances of anti-social behaviour will be dealt with by police or stewards and could result in arrests or being thrown out.

Police also want anyone to report instances of drug dealing or suspicious activity to officers.

"Belladrum is a family oriented festival which has proved to be very enjoyable for those who have attended in the past and we want to maintain that as people have paid hard earned cash to purchase their tickets," superintendent Neil commented. "We urge people to moderate their behaviour."

He hopes the atmosphere at the sold-out event will be friendly.

"As with RockNess we will be employing our tried and tested community based approach to policing, which has served us well at similar and bigger events in the past," the event commander added.

"There is definitely a different dynamic at Belladrum, particularly given the fact there are more families and a wider age range of those attending."

More about Belladrum in Friday's Courier 2.

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