A FESTIVAL of fun in the heart of Worcester will celebrate the county's ability to bounce back after devastating floods.
The 'SOSFEST14' will take place on Pitchcroft in Worcester between 11am and 3pm on Saturday, July 12 as a way of celebrating the county's efforts for pulling together during the floods.
At a meeting at Worcester Police Station on Wednesday, organisers discussed some of the exciting features planned for the event which is led by police but involves a host of other partners, including the fire service, the Environment Agency, Neighbourhood Watch, trading standards, Safer Worcester, the British Red Cross and various search and rescue teams. Plans for the festival are still being finalised but a whole raft of ideas were discussed at the meeting. The festival is expected to bring in crowds of between 2,000 and 3,000 people but could attract as many as 5,000.
Chief inspector Adam Thomas said he hoped the event would be a "celebration of Worcestershire" and in particular how it endured during recent flooding.
But he also said he wanted the event, which is about promoting community safety, to be fun with 'as much of our toy box on show as we can do'.
He said: "We want to make it a really great event and we really want to trumpet this one loud. It is about community safety but also about the resilience and recovery of Worcestershire as well. It is about Worcestershire rising from the depths."
The meeting was held in the same room that was at the hub of flood relief efforts across the county in February, which involved various groups, including the army.
The festival is funded by the office of West Mercia's Police and Crime Commissioner and goodie bags will be handed out to visitors containing crime prevention materials.
The police dog section may also be present and a sniffer dog used by trading standards. Authorised firearms officers could also be present with all the latest kit. Trading standards also aim to get out messages about ways to tackle and spot rogue traders and dodgy dealers.
Graham Houghton of West Side Neighbourhood Watch said he hoped he could use the day to showcase all the latest technologies including anti-theft devices which spray attackers, alarms and kit to track a stolen mobile phone. It is expected Police Cadets will also be involved and there will be a VIP who has yet to be confirmed. Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service will be providing a a fire engine for display and urban search and rescue are also expected to be present.
The Environment Agency will show dramatic photographs of previous flooding events and there may even be some eye-catching 6ft by 4ft big blue wellies. Rescue crews including West Midlands search and rescue Mercia Inshore Rescue will show off the type of boat used with such success in the recent floods. The Safer Roads Partnership will also be present with one of their enforcement vehicles and there is talk of there being a SOCO (scenes of crime officer ) tent to bring a corner of CSI to Worcestershire with clues for budding PIs to follow, an army recruitment stand and a police helicopter flyover. The festival is also set to include competitions, prizes, food vans and a bar. Other features may include face-painting, a climbing wall, wanted posters where the public have to close in on a target and possibly an inflatable army assault course.