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Who gave the order for Pop battle ?

   DEMANDS were being made yesterday that the police and the Crown Estates Commissioners should explain exactly who decided to break up the Windsor Great Park pop festival, and why. The Commissioners are the park's managers. 
   Mr Rob Yeomans, a member of the Church of England Board of Education, accused the Commissioners of passing the buck in saying that they hail handed over responsibility for the festival to the police. A member of the Thames Valley Police Authority said he would be asking whether any members of the Authority had been consulted. 
   At the same time a number of people were questioning the police methods. Some suggested that it would have been better if loud hailer announcements had been made early on Thursday morning saying that the site had to be cleared by a certain time. 
Many of the fans crowding outside the Windsor courts said that they would have left if they had been told the police intended to move them on. They did not know what the police were waiting for between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Thursday. They thought the police were just keeping watch on the festival. 
   No reason was being given for the decision to clear the site on Thursday but hints were made that the police had not wanted to deal with the large bank holiday period crowds and that any way they had been very busy then with drugs offenders. 
   The statement that the final decision was taken by the police seemed at first to clear the Crown -Commissioners of blame. But: Mr Yeomans said the Commissioners should have been responsible for any decision taken to end the festival. 
   He added that the Festival Welfare Services Committee, set up after an investigation: by the Department of the Environment into conditions at pop festivals, had tried to provide facilities at Windsor. 
"The police were prepared to let us use an army field near the site, but the Commissioners refused permission. We tried to negotiate but are were told we could not provide facilities. The attitude seemed to be that the festival was illegal and they were not going to acknowledge it by giving us permission to be there." 
   The  Commissioners  said last night that they had left  to the discretion of the police when it came to taking action ,against pop fans breaking the  park regulations; "It was a question of law and order which is primarily a matter for the police." 
   The Commissioners had not exercised any special pressure to have the police remove the fans, even though the law had been broken from the word go. No permission had been given for the fans to camp in the park. They had not asked for it . 
   Paul Miller, secretary of the Festival Welfare Services, said that if their facilities had been at the site "we might have been able to take the heat out of the situation. His organization would be ready to help in any inquiry. It would have been wiser for the police to try to loud hail the fans and persuade them to move off peacefully rather than just moving in at them. 
"Most would have left I am sure." 
   Councillor Trevor Brown of Newbury, Berkshire, a member of the Thames Valley Police Authority, said he had written to the clerk of the authority Mr Robert Gash, asking him why the decision to break up the festival had been taken on Thursday rather than at the beginning of the festival. If the fans had to be moved at all then it would have been better to stop them from coming on to the site. 
   Secondly, he wanted to know who had taken the decision and whether any members of the Police Authority had been approached. Lastly, had there been random checks for drugs as Release alleged? If so what were the regulations on searching for drugs ? 
   Decisions like Thursday's should be taken in the open with elected representatives, either local or national, taking part. "I do not know if the right decision was taken or not but I think that the decision should have been discussed." He too, thought, the fans should have been warned to move off. "My son's friends were there. They are respectable lads. One was dragged from his van by his hair. That van is his pride and joy. My son would have been at that festival if he had not been ill." 
   Thames Valley police, who said the final decision to break up the festival was taken by the Chief Constable David Holdsworth, were yesterday  starting to prepare the report called for by the Home Secretary, Mr Roy Jenkins. 
   Yesterday the 220 people charged after Thursday's incidents, and the 300 charged earlier in the festival were being dealt with by magistrates sitting in shifts at Windsor. Many were remanded to later dates but some of those fined claimed that they were now destitute. 
   The Thames Valley Chief Constable, Mr David Holdsworth. said: "In my view Thames Valley police showed great restraint and patience during the course of this very difficult operation." 
Police said 22 officers and 29 others were injured in clashes. Among the police still in hospital are a sergeant aged 49 with a suspected coronary and a young police woman with a back injury. 
The King Edward VII Hospital; Windsor, said it was not known whether the sergeant's illness was related to events in the park. 
   Windsor townspeople were mostly behind their Conservative MP, Dr Alan Glyn, who is asking the Home Office to prevent another Windsor Festival. But some shopkeepers and cafe owners who were giving the remaining fans food were "heartbroken.' One woman said: "All the fans I have seen in my shop have been well - mannered and respectful. They had paid me and said thank you. 
I do not believe they are all liars and I do believe that some terrible, nightmare, things have happened here in Windsor over the last few days." 
Fans still in Windsor were settling onto a new site in a riverside field in the shadow of the castle. The police were patrolling the edge of the field. One officer said he believed the owners of the field were taking legal advice. 
   The undaunted festival organizers are planning a rally in London's Hyde Park today to organize a festival next year .Some fans were on the move to Stonehenge, where the Wallys are again installed. Several said they would be reopening the Windsor Free Festival on the Wallys site. 
The Department of the Environment. who took out a court order to rid the site of the Wallys, said a pop festival at Stonehenge would be "unthinkable."
     Richard Harkinson legal counsellor for Release, said his organization would be submitting its own report to the Home Secretary. It would deal with questions such as the lack of access by defendants to lawyers and doctors. It would also raise what Release considered the general abuse of powers of random stop and search, and police failure to give bail before court appearances. 
The organization was also concerned about alleged blanket fingerprinting and photography of detained people. "The pre-trial action by the police is illustrated in the overwhelming number of cases in which guilty pleas were entered just so that people could get away.''

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