APPLEBY Horse Fair saw record highs for police action this year, with the number of arrests, dispersal orders and stop and searches being at their highest for many years.

Cumbria Police experienced a ‘particularly busy’ fair, with the highest number of arrests recorded-18-since 2014, with people arrested for a variety of offences ranging from violent disorder, following the incident on Battlebarrow on Saturday afternoon, to people arrested for being drunk and disorderly after being caught urinating in the street.

In addition to arrests, more than 200 fixed penalty notices were issued - a record high in recent years - and 42 stop and searches, as well as 79 searches under Section 60 powers have been carried out - also record highs.

A 37-year-old man and a 24-year-old man-both from outside the county-were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder after the incident at Battlebarrow and a number of weapons including sticks and bats were also seized.

Read more: Arrests made and weapons seized in Appleby after police crackdown

This year has also seen the highest number of dispersal orders issued since 2016 - 28.

Police also uplifted 25 vehicles for matters such as no insurance and obstruction - another record high.

Chief Superintendent Matt Kennerley of Cumbria Police said: “From a policing perspective, it has been another busy year for our officers – as would be expected at the biggest fair we have seen in recent years.

“Whilst the incident on Battlebarrow understandably received a great deal of attention, it should be noted that the matter was resolved without violence of any description and I would like to pay tribute to our officers who reacted extremely quickly to the potential threat and put themselves between the group and those peacefully enjoying the fair on The Sands, in order to keep people safe.

“At this time of year we ask a great deal of our officers, who work extremely long shifts and are often away from their families for a number of days – this year one officer even missed the birth of their child whilst policing the fair.

Read more: Police seize puppies at horse fair

“Our investigation into the incident in Battlebarrow is on-going and whilst those involved may have left the county, we will work with other police forces to identify those who came to the Fair to cause disorder and take action against them, which may include steps to prevent them attending Appleby Horse Fair next year.

“Our officers have been proactive throughout the 2022 fair, which has resulted not just in an increase in the number of arrests on 2021 but a significant increase in other activities including in excess of 200 fixed penalty notices issued, vehicles uplifted and more than 100 individuals searched under Stop and Search and Section 60/60AA powers, resulting in weapons including bladed weapons being seized.

“However, it should always be recognised that the overwhelming majority of those who attend the Fair do so positively. We would like to pass on our thanks to those people and wish everyone a safe journey home.”