Roskilde off to a quiet start, police say

Overall crime rates at the Roskilde Festival are down from last year

The day before the music kicks off, Roskilde Festival has thus far gone off without any major problems. Despite attracting over 100,000 guests, the festival has a reputation for being a rather peaceful affair and police indicate that this year is off to a smooth start.


The Midt- og Vestsjællands police report that despite several incidences of theft, the overall crime rates are actually down from last year. At this time last year, the police had received 76 reports of theft from the campsite, while this year the number is down to 59 incidents. 


Much of the theft at the festival seems to be focused on iPhones and other smartphones. Yesterday, the police arrested four Romanians at a Roskilde post office who were attempting to send a package to Spain, which included six iPhones, all stolen from the festival grounds. Two of them were convicted on theft charges and sentenced to 40 days in prison followed by a six-year expulsion from Denmark. 


The number of individuals reported for possession of illegal substances remains the same as last year, with 107 incidences having been reported so far. One major incident of illegal drugs was reported yesterday, when a 38-year-old Copenhagen man was arrested for being in possession of 131 grams of marijuana meant for distribution.


While rumours were circulating on social media that police were employing drug-sniffing dogs at the Roskilde Station, a police spokesperson declined to give any information on police tactics. The spokesperson also declined comment on reports in the Danish media that many festival-goers are using laughing gas. A reporter from the tabloid Ekstra Bladet found 53 spent containers of laughing gas on the campground site in one hour on Tuesday.


There has been only one significant episode of violence thus far. In the early morning hours of Monday, ten people were involved in a fight with several of them using clubs. There were no arrests in the incident, but the involved parties had their festival wristbands removed by organisers.


Like the Copenhagen police did during Distortion, The Midt- og Vestsjællands police are providing updates and tips, in English and Danish, via their Twitter account for those interested in experiencing the festival through the eyes of the police department. There people can receive updates on thefts, traffic guidance and general safety. The social media platform was also used by Copenhagen Police over the weekend to refute rumours that they were cutting Roskilde armbands off people caught with cannabis in and around Christiania. 


On Monday the police released a statement on Twitter which hopefully will be an indicator of things to come for the massive festival. 


“The first two days of the festival have passed without major problems. Thanks for the support and help from guests and staff.”