MORE than one kilogram of drugs was seized at this year’s Leeds Festival, while one person was arrested on suspicion of poisoning.

There were also a number of arrests made at the festival in relation to sexual offences.

A response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to West Yorkshire Police states that one of the recorded crimes was "assault a female 13 and over by penetration with part of body/thing". 

The popular three-day event in Bramham Park, Leeds, was enjoyed by tens of thousands of music lovers over the weekend of August 25 to August 27.

They were treated to tunes from American popstar Billie Eilish, Geordie, Sam Fender, The Killers, Imagine Dragons, Foals, and The 1975.

But concerns were raised in the lead-up to this year’s festival about drug misuse and predatory drug dealers, after the inquest into the death of David Celino, 16, took place at the start of August this year.

David died after taking ecstasy at Leeds Fest in 2022 and his father, Gianpiero Celino, urged parents to talk to their children about drugs and warned those going to the event of the risk of being “groomed” by people who are “only interested in selling you drugs”.

But Melvin Benn, the founder and organiser of Leeds Festival, told the inquest he did not believe unaccompanied 16 and 17-year-olds should be banned from the event and agreed there is no such prohibition at any major festival in the UK, including Glastonbury.

He told David’s parents of his “genuine sorrow” at their son’s death.

Mr Benn was asked by senior coroner Kevin McLoughlin about Mr Celino’s belief that “predatory” drug dealers targeting teenagers was a “foreseeable risk”.

He replied: “Somehow Mr Celino’s evidence really pulled it into focus. It struck home.”

The FOI response from West Yorkshire Police revealed the amount of drugs seized and the number of arrests made during this year's festival. 

There were 1,256 grams of various drugs seized across the three days by officers - including 799 grams of cannabis, 236 grams of ketamine, 160 grams of cocaine, and 29 grams of magic mushrooms.

Police also seized 26 grams of MDMA crystals, six grams of “2-CB” power, and four cannabis edibles. 

Just under 500 tablets of different kinds were confiscated by police.

The majority of these were MDMA (416), with 31 “2-CB” tablets and 13 diazepam tablets also seized.

There were 71 arrests made in total at Leeds Festival this year, with 110 crimes recorded (suspects may have been arrested for more than one alleged offence). 

One of the recorded crimes was an individual who allegedly administered poison with the intent to endanger life or inflict grievous bodily harm (GBH).

Another person was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage to a vehicle worth more than £5,000.

The most prominent crime was theft, including theft by finding (21) - but this only equated to 19 per cent of the total recorded offences.

There were a number of people arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply drugs - 13 for cocaine and six each for MDMA and “other”.

Other recorded crimes included theft from a person, theft of a motor vehicle, assault, theft from a motor vehicle, and arson.

Some of the other sexual offences allegedly committed included four crimes recorded of sexual assault on a female, three reports of rape of a female, one sexual assault on a male, and one case of exposure.

West Yorkshire Police said it does not deploy resources on routine patrol of public areas at the Leeds Festival site as it is a commercial event that takes place on private property licensed by the local authority.

A spokesperson for the force said: “The promoter employs a large number of private security staff and stewards and is able to satisfy the requirements of the licensing authority.”

They added: “Crimes relating to sexual offences are taken very seriously by West Yorkshire Police.

“Specially trained officers are responsible for the investigation of these offences and are situated within both District Safeguarding Units and Protective Services (Crime), a specialist department which deals with complex investigations.

“All investigations involving victims of sexual offences, regardless of the age of the person responsible, are dealt within a multi-agency setting, involving our statutory safeguarding partners.

“This approach allows not only for an effective investigation but ensures appropriate safeguarding measures are considered for any person deemed to be at risk.

“West Yorkshire Police strives to ensure all victims receive the best possible service and care from all officers and staff.

“All victims are offered appropriate specialist aftercare support services to ensure they receive support throughout the criminal justice process.”

Both West Yorkshire Police and the organisers of Leeds Festival were approached for comment but they did not respond.