CHANGES to the policing operation at Creamfields in 2018 were rolled out at the request of the festival organisers, police have confirmed.

Last year, Cheshire Constabulary altered its approach to policing at the annual four-day dance event which attracts just under 70,000 music-lovers each year.

The Warrington Guardian has previously reported how, during the 2018 festival which is held over the August bank holiday weekend, police officers were not required to conduct ‘intimate searches’ to detect any illicit stashes or illegal weapons.

These searches had been a condition of entry in previous years in a bid to protect the public and uncover any hidden drugs. 

These changes to the policing plans were raised during a meeting at Halton Borough Council’s regulatory committee earlier this month.

Members were presented with a report by inspector Mark Gammage, who outlined how anyone who had hidden drugs either in their underwear or inside their bodies, were ‘unlikely to have been detected’ under the policing changes.

Following the meeting, the Warrington Guardian contacted Cheshire Police to ask for the reasoning behind the changes. 

A spokesman for Cheshire Police said: “Planning for the policing of Creamfields 2018 began earlier that year to determine the policing requirement alongside the organiser’s own security arrangements.

“Cheshire Constabulary worked closely with the event organisers, Festival Republic and their security team, in order to ensure festival goers had a safe and enjoyable time and to minimise any disruption for residents during the festival period.

“Cheshire Constabulary was requested by the organisers to provide specific ‘on-site’ support to the 2018 event, which was agreed in accordance with national guidance.”

READ > Watch the moment police stop drugs ring gang member on M6

More than 1,000 people were dealt with for possession of drugs and kicked out of the site in 2018.

But Creamfields 2018 saw a 36 per cent decrease in overall recorded crime when compared with figures from 2017.

Crime statistics also showed that the number of violent, sexual and drug-related offences had reduced last year compared to 2017.

Last year, there were four reports of sexual offences compared to two last year, and 22 violent offences compared to 13 the year before.

There was also a considerable reduction in the number of drugs voluntarily surrendered in amnesty bins in operation at the site.

It is not known if the same policing policy will apply to this year’s music festival in Daresbury, which will see Swedish House Mafia and The Chemical Brothers and deadmau5 take to the stage.

Creamfields has been contacted for comment but has yet to respond.