'Good spirits' at Appleby Horse Fair after 24 hours despite traffic delays and five arrests, say police

Groups arriving at the horse fair yesterday

Groups arriving at the horse fair yesterday

First published in News
Last updated

THE first 24 hours of the Appleby Horse Fair 'went well', according to Cumbria Police.

A spokeswoman for the force said traffic caused delays and there have been five arrests, but the vast majority of people are 'enjoying the event and are in good spirits'.

Superintendent Sean Robinson, who is leading the policing operation for the fair, said: "My thanks go to all of the local residents and travelling community who showed patience yesterday during the heavy traffic experienced in the area."

Overnight there were five arrests in Appleby.

One was for assault, two for possession of controlled drugs and two for people who were drunk and disorderly.

There are now around 30,000 people in the area.

A Community Advisory Group held their first meeting last night, which was well attended.

Fourteen members from the local and travelling communities discussed the fair so far and provided feedback to the multi-agency group.

Overall, said the police spokeswoman, there was 'a positive feeling' about the fair.

“Each year we talk about the holiday feeling, but this is evident again this year," said Robin Hooper, the Chair of the Multi-agency Strategic Co-ordination Group (MASCG).

“This is a historical gathering for the travelling community and we acknowledge the impact that it does have on surrounding communities.

"However, the co-operation between all parties involved in the last 24 hours resulted in no major incidents during the migration and we thank everyone for their assistance.

“Today there will be a lot of people walking around the fair and fast moving horses. We appeal to people to be aware and make sure that they are safe.”

Now police are urging people to take care on the 'flashing lane' due to fast-moving horses.

"We ask that the horse community are really careful around pedestrians and show courtesy to other road users during the fair, by reducing speed, stopping gradually and not overtaking lines of traffic," they said.

"From today horses are not permitted in Appleby town centre and we ask people to respect this."

The MASCG will also be monitoring river levels and the RSPCA is continuing to advise people not to bring dogs to the fair.

RSPCA Chief Inspector Rob Melloy said: “This is a horse fair and people should not bring other pets along. Horses can get 'spooked' by dogs and dogs can get trampled by horses.

“In previous years we've had problems with dog being left in cars/caravans/awnings, all of which can get hot on even cloudy days.

"The temperature in enclosed spaces like these rises quickly, causing heatstroke and death."

The ambulance service is also in attendance.

Updates throughout the weekend can be found at www.applebyfair.org.uk or via Twitter @ApplebyFair or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ApplebyHorseFair

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