From Cumbria Constabulary
The first 24 hours of Appleby Horse Fair have been safe and enjoyable with Gypsy and Traveller visitors and members of the local communities praising the Multi-Agency Strategic Coordination Group (MASCG) for their efforts so far during their first daily forum.
The forum took place in Appleby at 7pm last night (Thursday 7 June). Twelve community members and visitors attended where they provided feedback to the Multi-Agency Group about the first stages of the Fair and praised people for their time and effort in trying to make sure the fair is a safe for everyone.
Over the last 24 hours only five people were arrested, one man aged 27 from Hartlepool was arrested for being drunk and disorderly and in possession of drugs and received a fixed penalty and a caution. Another man aged 33 from Barnsley, was arrested for being drunk and disorderly and received a fixed penalty notice. A man aged 16 was arrested on suspicion of being in possession of drugs and was released with no further action and a man aged 49 from Tyne and Wear was also arrested on possession of drugs and was given a fixed penalty notice.
Superintendent Sean Robinson said: “The first day of Appleby Horse Fair went well. There were a couple of accidents attributed to the weather conditions and fast moving horses. Advice was given and people were responsive to this.
“There is a real holiday spirit amongst Gypsy and Traveller visitors who have come to enjoy themselves and meet up with family and friends this weekend, despite the weather. Everyone we have spoken to seems to be very happy with the arrangements so far and we hope that this calm, celebratory atmosphere continues through the weekend so that people can enjoy themselves safely.
“The first Community Advisory Group was held last night which was a success. Whilst we are at the early stages of the event, we were able to pick up feedback on what was working well.
“Road safety is always an issue in Appleby and we take every precaution to try and ensure that people are safe when out and about. Whilst there were a few accidents yesterday, this was mainly related to the weather. The conditions are not great this year, with the rain making the roads slippy we are advising everyone to slow down and leave plenty of room to stop.
“Advice has been given to the Gypsies and Travellers in the area to slow down when on horses drawn vehicles and to slow down gradually.”
Officers are teaming up with the Fire & Rescue Service as part of a road safety initiative today to educate young drivers in a bid to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on the county’s roads.
The event is part of an on-going operation, named Orwell. Police and fire officers will be pulling in vehicles to speak to their drivers and passengers about the importance of road safety. Twelve hard-hitting videos will also be shown to motorists throughout the operation which highlighted the importance of being a responsible driver.
Police offer the following advice to road users:
Be aware of vehicles towing caravans and slow horse-drawn vehicles – horses can be easily spooked. Avoid revving your engine and turn your music down. Give horses plenty of room and pass them carefully
You never know what is around the next corner so slow down and take extra care
Be aware of pedestrians. Pedestrians should only use designated crossing areas for their own safety and wear high visibility clothing where possible
Allow more time for your journey at peak times, and be patient and courteous if you are delayed
Be aware of the weather conditions, allow extra room to stop and brake gradually.