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Hemlock Happening to go ahead after last year’s trouble – with increased police patrols

25th March 2016 Broxtowe Borough Council, Combat Bullying, Councillor Richard MacRae, Latest News, Nottingham Evening Post, Stapleford Town Council, Upcoming Events Tags: , , , 0 Comments

A popular festival which was marred by violent clashes last year will go ahead this summer with increased police patrols.

Hemlock Happening, which has been running since 2002, had to be cut short last June after more than 10 police cars and two riot vans were called following reports of fighting.

The festival, in Bramcote Hills Park, off Ilkeston Road, which attracts around 10,000 people, was stopped before the final act finished and before the fireworks took place.

Organisers told the Post last year that they were considering the future of the event due to the trouble, which witnesses said involved more than 100 young people, though there were no arrests.

But plans have now been unveiled for this year’s Hemlock Happening, which takes place from 1pm-10pm on Saturday, June 11.

Nottinghamshire Police say they will have an increased police presence to ensure a safe environment.

Broxtowe District Commander Inspector Steve Wragg said: “While it was disappointing that the actions of the minority caused disappointment for the majority, we will continue to support and encourage the event.

“There will be an increased police presence at the event this year to ensure a safe environment for those attending, and robust action taken against those seeking to cause disorder.”

The free family event, sponsored by Castle Rock Brewery, features a variety of live music, singing, dance, art and crafts, children’s rides, food stalls, sports, dozens of local groups and schools providing interactive entertainment for all the family.

Stan Heptinstall is chairman of the Bramcote and Stapleford Golden Jubilee committee, which set up the event in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee.

He said the appropriate channels in organising the event were followed last year, including a safety officer taking the decision to stop the festival and the police being contacted when “a lot of youngsters running around” “got close to the main group of people who were enjoying themselves”.

Mr Heptinstall, who represents Bramcote and Stapleford on Nottinghamshire County Council, added: “We have taken advice from the police and they are very happy for it to go ahead. Now that they know that there is a potential for that kind of activity – which had never happened before – they will be ready for it.

“I don’t think there’s any need to be wary about coming to the event. It has always been and always will be a family event that people come along to and really enjoy. We have got lots and lots of activities on the stages, lots of stalls and presentations and it’s going to be as good, if not better than, previous years.”

Borough and Town Councillor for Stapleford, Richard MacRae, attended last year. He said: “I am looking forward to attending this year as I am sure are many thousands of others are.” He described the trouble last year as “what happens on a school playground” involving a “small few that sadly spoilt a great day and a great event”.

Natalie Harvey, of Long Eaton, also attended last year with her Combat Bullying group, which performed.

She said: “It’s a nice event. People work hard on making it happen for the community and hopefully they can learn from last year and make it bigger, better and safer this year and hopefully the people attending won’t ruin it for others.”

The event is held in conjunction with the Broxtowe Borough Council events team.

Alex Khan, event manager, said the team would carry on planning a successful event, as normal.

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