The Police and Border Guard are dispatching several hundred officers to this year's Weekend Festival in Pärnu. Several ten thousand visitors are expected to attend the 70 concerts and parties of the festival.
According to Andres Sinimeri, in command of Pärnu's police station, local law enforcement is backed up with several hundred officers, cadets and assistant police officers from Estonia as well as colleagues from Latvia, Lithuania, and Finland.
Police patrolling festival area, city, sea
The police's job is to make sure that the visitors can spend a safe and enjoyable weekend, the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) said in a press release earlier this week.
"Uniformed officers can be seen patrolling both on foot and by bike. Additionally, dog handlers will patrol the area with service dogs. We will also ensure security at sea, and we will increase checks on the water. We'll certainly monitor the conformity of the safety equipment of vessels, and check people for signs of intoxication," Sinimeri said.
In addition to Pärnu's maritime rescue patrol, the PPA's border guard ship Valve is also patrolling the area. "Of course we are also co-operating closely with the organiser of the festival as well as other partners," Sinimeri added.
Festival brings major changes to traffic
The festival also brings about major reorganisation in Pärnu's city traffic, which has to be taken into account by visitors as well as local residents. "Some streets are closed, or the traffic is being rerouted. In many places, there are traffic regulators, and their instructions must be followed. There are patrols on the road as well to calm the traffic during the festival, and all that has to be done in such a way that all of us still remember the festival as a safe and fun experience," Sinimeri said.
The police's advice is not to come to the festival by car, but to use public transport instead. "The city's streets are narrow, and there are a lot of people. Incorrectly parked cars may obstruct traffic or access by emergency vehicles," Sinimeri pointed out, adding that the police had to have quite a number of vehicles towed in earlier years.
Among other considerations, visitors should also leave as many of their valuables as possible at home. This year's festival features a wristband visitors can charge with money, and use it to pay for food and drinks.
Police: Expect mobile communication breakdowns, stay in designated areas
Sinimeri also recommends to anyone attending the festival to try and stay with their group, and if possible also leave together, as breakdowns in the mobile coverage of the area can be expected due to the tens of thousands of devices used at once.
The police is asking visitors to be considerate and help each other where needed. Those who are planning to camp at the festival should use the designated areas, the city's parks and green areas are not intended for camping, Sinimeri stressed.
"Take as few things as possible. There is no sense in carrying large amounts of luggage with you," he added.
Sinimeri is also asking visitors to show goodwill towards the city's residents and not interrupt their peace and quiet. For this reason the police will dispel any gatherings outside the specially designated areas of the festival.
Lost and found items
Like in previous years, the police is making an effort to help people find items lost at the festival. "The more valuable items found in the festival area can be brought to the police tent, where there are customer service people to assist in the recovery of lost items," said Sinimeri.
To recover items, people can call two separate phone numbers, +372 444 6500 and +372 5331 2118. The police will also provide updated information on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/events/1767095986709583/
During the festival, information concerning security is posted on the Facebook page of the West Police Prefecture with the hashtag #politseiweekendil2018. Please send enquiries related to the police's work at the festival to [email protected], or call the emergency correspondence number of the West Police Prefecture, +372 5555 8798.
Editor: Dario Cavegn