A CRIME prevention mascot is being used in the run up to and during the V Festival to encourage music lovers to keep an eye on their valuables, their friends and how much they have to drink.

The festival has a reputation for being one of the safest on the summer calendar and officers will be working to ensure it remains that way.

Policing co-ordinator, Chief Supt Simon Williams, said: "People come from all over the country to see some top-class acts and enjoy the community atmosphere in relaxed surroundings. However, there are also those who come with the aim of committing crime such as selling drugs, peddling dodgy merchandise and stealing property.”

The mascot - Seymour - was made from scratch by Essex Police’s graphic designers and TV Unit.

A short video featuring him will be shown on the big screens at the festival over the weekend to remind festival goers not to let their mobile telephones, cameras, wallets and other valuables out of their sight.

He’ll be featured on billboards around Chelmsford train station reminding festival-goers to stay safe and offering advice on Essex Police Twitter and Facebook channels.

Working alongside Essex Police will be Crimestoppers who are looking to encourage a crime-free weekend by making people aware of the anonymous way to alert police to any criminal activity.

Festival goers can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 as nothing is traced or recorded and, if information leads to the arrest and conviction of an individual, they could be entitled to a cash reward, paid without revealing identity.

Chief Inspector Jon Hayter added: "The festival has always been a fantastic occasion for both the police and the public. Criminals are warned that the extensive array of CCTV cameras will combat their actions, with strong measures being taken against them.

"We want to remind festival goers that psychoactive substances, (legal highs) will not be tolerated and if anyone is found to be in possession of them, they could be prosecuted and removed from the festival.

"There’s lots of advice on our website so please take a few minutes to read it before you head to the festival and keep an eye out for the tips and updates we’ll be pushing out via social media over the course of the weekend.”

Road policing officers will be enforcing temporary speed limits of 30mph along roads surrounding the site, with increased patrols and stop checks targeting drink-drivers.

Council employees will ensure parking restrictions in nearby streets and grass verges are adhered to. Motorists not visiting Hylands Park are advised to avoid the area and instead find alternative routes in and around Chelmsford.

Anyone who experiences crime at the festival can report it to Essex Police at the mobile police station or by calling 101 or 999.