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Appleby Horse Fair winds down after hundred arrests

Visitors to Appleby Horse Fair were continuing to leave the town today after an event in which 100 arrests were made and a huge brawl broke out.

Appleby fair
A general scene from Appleby Horse Fair

Counterfeit goods worth £250,000, including clothes, footwear and sunglasses, were also recovered during a Trading Standards operation targeting rogue sellers.

But police said there were “no significant incidents” overnight on Sunday and into yesterday as the traditional gathering began to wind down.

There were 18 arrests for alleged offences including possessing offensive weapons, being drunk and disorderly and possession of drugs.

But this was less than half the number of those held over 24 hours during Saturday and Sunday, a period in which 53 people were arrested. This number included some of the 34 held and later bailed after what police called “a large-scale fight” erupted on the fair’s show field at about 5am on Sunday.

The total number arrested by police during the fair had reached 100 yesterday.

The event officially ends tomorrow but police said visitors were beginning to leave yesterday.

Chief Superintendent Steve Johnson said: “Our officers are continuing to work hard to provide proportionate enforcement of the law. Saturday was our busiest night and things have quietened down noticeably with people now beginning to make their way home.”

Forty-five whips were seized in the 24 hours up to 7am yesterday. Twenty-eight fines were issued for a variety of traffic and low-level public disorder offences. During the same period, one man was arrested on suspicion of possession of cocaine with intent to supply.

Another man was arrested on suspicion of selling barn owls without a licence. Two of the owls were taken to Knoxwood animal sanctuary near Wigton but one died while being transported to the centre.

The RSPCA reported that the majority of animals at the fair were in good condition and treated well.

Kevin Douglas, chief executive of Eden District Council, is at the head of an alliance of public agencies providing public and emergency services.

He said: “As with all events of this scale, a minority of people set out to cause trouble and spoil things for the majority. These are the people we have proactively targeted.”

Thousands of people converge on the Eden Valley town every year for the centuries-old event – the largest traditional Gypsy and traveller gathering in Europe.

Have your say

I go to apleby fair every year and absolutely love it i have a lot of respect for all of the gypsies that go because without them it wouldnt happen, it will never be stopped !

Posted by Rachel x on 25 August 2009 at 16:59

I am gypsy i work yes i have done some bad things in my life but that is the way i was brought up and i am proud of who i am. I go to appleby everyy year to see old friends and family an i look forward to it all year round its a good fair the police just go over the top. they havent got a clue !

Posted by Lil Tinka *!* on 5 August 2009 at 15:13

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