Keeping Safe and Enjoying the SW4 Festival

Photo Credit: Hibri Marzook (Flickr Photo)

It’s that time of year again when South West Four (SW4) Festival comes to Clapham Common. If you are visiting the Festival we’ve pulled together some top tips on keeping safe and enjoying the weekend. Whether you are visiting or happen to live nearby, rest assured the local policing team will be doing all we can to keep you safe and prevent crime. We also recommend visiting the South West Four website which also provides useful information.

Police and event security work together to keep the event and surrounding area safe and as with any such event the management reserve the right to refuse entry. As local police officers we have a range of powers (search, arrest, dispersal, etc.) at our disposal and we will put them to use to deal with and prevent crime and anti-social behaviour.

Enjoying the Festival

If you’ve got your tickets and are looking forward to one or more days at South West Four this coming weekend, we really do hope you have a great time. Look after yourselves, your friends and those around you. If you have any concerns on the day please do speak to event stewards or security. Please drink responsibly and take care of your personal property. It’s also worth reminding people that the event is for over 18s only and that your entry to the event is subject to search.

We don’t want to put a dampener on things, but we would also encourage you to review the following:

Drugs and ‘Legal Highs’ are Not Permitted

The event has a zero tolerance policy regarding drugs and, at a minimum, you will find yourself denied entry. Drug sniffer dogs will be present. You also leave yourself liable to arrest and prosecution. Lambeth’s new Public Spaces Protection Order also means you can’t be in possession of so-called “legal highs” like laughing gas. If you are seen with such items you can expect to have the items confiscated and risk a fine, arrest and/or prosecution.

Theft and Personal Property

We will be on the look out for professional and opportunist thieves over the weekend. If you come to Clapham to commit theft over the weekend, expect to find yourself in handcuffs and in a cell. If you are a Festival go-er, please take care of your property and if at all possible leave valuables at home! This advice extends to any valuable jewellery (e.g. necklaces, bracelets, watches, rings), as well as the usual electronics (e.g. smartphones). We also encourage visitors to avoid keeping any valuables (e.g. phones and wallets) in rear pockets.

Ticket Touts

As with any large ticketed event, South West Four festival can be expected to attract ticket touts. If you choose to use the services of a tout, then you run the significant risk of finding yourself being sold false / fake and/or stolen tickets. The event uses state-of-the-art ticketing systems and so bogus tickets can and will be identified. On that basis you can expect to find yourself out of pocket and not allowed into the event and again run the risk of being arrested or prosecuted if found in possession of stolen or false tickets. It’s simply not worth the risk.

Noise-Related Issues for Residents

If you have noise related issues during the actual running of the concerts, please contact the on duty event liaison officer on: 020 3137 6716.

Being Considerate Neighbours

Not everyone loves loud music and since the good folk of Clapham host South West Four every year, we ask that Festival goers be considerate to local residents on their way home. Please try to keep noise to a minimum if you are heading home late at night. It also means disposing of litter responsibly in bins. The Common has a lot of wildlife and is loved by local dog owners – please help keep it clean.

Transport Arrangements

Please remember to make transport arrangements for getting home (or to your preferred after party) following the event. On leaving the event, remember that Clapham Common Tube will be closed and that Clapham Junction Rail Station and Clapham South Tube are the best connections.

As already stated, we also recommend visiting the South West Four website which also provides useful information.

Finally, we hope you have a safe and enjoyable weekend and we kindly ask you to comply with directions given by event stewards, security and police.

About the Author

PC Rory Geoghegan
I was the Dedicated Ward Officer for Clapham Common Ward in the London Borough of Lambeth until May 2016. I’m a former strategy consultant and criminal justice researcher. As a Dedicated Ward Officer I was something of a foot and cycle patrol fanatic! All views expressed are/were personal opinions and the usual disclaimers apply.

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