WOMAD was welcomed back to New Plymouth after a two-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic - and our officers were on the beat patrolling to keep festival-goers safe.
The Taranaki policing operation ran for WOMAD 2023's three-day duration from Friday 17 March to Sunday 19 March at the Bowl of Brooklands and Brooklands Park.
Taranaki Operations Manager Senior Sergeant Grant Roper says there were three main stages operating, with five smaller stages as well as associated bars, food and retail outlets at the venue.
"The festival had a patronage of over 10,000 people attending each day, peaking with a crowd of over 15,000 on the Saturday," says Grant.
"A significant portion of those attending travelled to the Taranaki area for the event, which also had an extensive camping area with a tent city covering the adjacent Pukekura Racecourse area."
Fifteen Taranaki officers were deployed as part of the venue group to respond to calls for service and conduct prevention activities, with other Police staff involved in road policing activities.
"Our Community Patrol partners were also part of our operation helping us with patrolling in the camping area and surrounding environs - they did a fantastic job supporting us for this great community-orientated event," says Grant.
"The crowd behaviour overall was very good, with a relaxed and friendly vibe. Isolated incidents of disorder were dealt with by Police and Event Security but those actions were not a reflection on the vast majority of patrons."