Updated: Jun 20
A religious festival being hosted at Rutland Showground in Oakham today (Saturday) has prompted complaints.
In a statement published online, the Rutland Agricultural Society who own the showground said: "We are currently hosting a religious festival on our site which we are aware is causing disturbance to our neighbours. We wholeheartedly apologise for this.
We agreed to the booking after assessing the organisers risk assessment and with the belief that this was an event primarily about Christian worship.
However there is a minority of people who are disrupting the event and causing significant problems in around the showground. Our priority is to help maintain public order and minimise disruption and allow the event to refocus on its Christian worship as quickly and quietly as possible. We have been in contact with the police who have been onsite today."
Local residents posting online are reporting that the Bypass in Oakham has been closed by visitors to the event who are using it to race cars.
The Rutland Showground in Oakham which is at the centre of resident's complaints. Image: Google.
Rutland and Melton MP Alicia Kearns posted a statement on Facebook this evening.
She said: "I’m aware of concerns around reckless driving and incidents in Oakham today related to a large event at Rutland Showground. I am liaising with the Council and the Police regarding compliance to COVID regulations and monitoring of concerns."
The Rutland Showground covers around 150 acres and is situated just off the bypass in Oakham.
Several people are commenting about the disruption online suggesting that more should be done.
One person wrote: "This is allowed to happen but I’m not allowed to watch my son at his school sports day. This makes an absolute joke of the covid rules."
Another wrote: "This event is causing great distress & concern to Oakham Residents and we deserve immediate answers and action from the Showground, the Police and the council."
This isn't the first time an event of this scale has happened. In 2017, more than 3,000 travellers took over a site in Oxfordshire after event organisers were misled about the booking.
Supt Adam Slonecki from Leicestershire Police’s Specalist Support team said: “We can confirm we have received information from local residents in Oakham and Rutland in relation to anti-social behaviour in the area.
This relates to a private event which is a legally authorised event on private land between Light and Life and Rutland Showground. With permission from the organiser we will be regularly going into the event and continue to engage with the event co-ordinator to ensure they are covid safe.
We would like to reassure residents that we have extra foot patrols, a dedicated roads policing car and a specialist drone team operating in the area. In addition, local officers will be engaging with local businesses and licenced premises.
We continue to work with the event goers and organisers to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum.”
Anyone with any information is visit https://www.leics.police.uk/ro/report/ quoting reference Log 186 of 19 June 2021 or to call 101.