Two Raped At Latitude

Police began patrolling the Latitude Festival site to ease the crowd’s fears after a second girl was reportedly raped over the July 15-18 weekend.

“We are so shocked that it should happen here,” said Festival Republic chief Melvin Benn, whose 5-year-old multi-faceted outdoor on the Suffolk coast in England has built a reputation for being civilised and family friendly.

A 17-year-old girl who was camping at Latitude was reportedly attacked by a man inside a tent, 24 hours after a 19-year-old was reportedly raped by a man in front of a group of his friends.

The first attack came at midnight on Friday, shortly after Florence & The Machine finished its headline slot. The girl, who is from Suffolk, reported it to the police the following afternoon after fleeing the festival and going home.

After the second rape, a 19-year-old man from Essex was arrested at the campsite and questioned at the nearby Lowestoft police station.

Although the four-day event is guarded by a private security company, the police also began to patrol it following the second attack.

“The whole site was already covered in police leaflets appealing for information after the first rape,” Belinda Ward, a 25-year-old sales consultant who lives locally, told the Daily Express. “Now everyone is left reeling after this second rape. I’m horrified it can happen once, let alone twice. Parents send their teenage girls off to these summer music festivals to enjoy themselves in a safe environment with their mates, not to come home having been raped.”

The festival, which attracts fans of all ages because of its broad choice of music and its multi-genre approach to entertainment, has always been largely free of the binge drinking and drug taking that blight similar events.

Police don’t believe the two attacks are connected but added their patrols to the on-site private security, which was also increased.

“Police are not normally inside the festival site because it is run by private security. Obviously because of what has happened, this has changed,” a police spokesman explained.

Latitude was a 25,000-capacity sellout and the lineup included Tom Jones, Vampire Weekend, Nigel Kennedy, Belle & Sebastian, Empire Of The Sun, Crystal Castles and Rodrigo y Gabriela.