Safety must come first at Diwali event
Aguest appearance by Bollywood action hero Dharmendra Singh Deol at Leicester's annual Diwali lights switch-on has been cancelled due to health and safety fears.
Security and policing had already been arranged for up to 40,000 people, but the possibility of Mr Deol's appearance, put to the festival's joint organising group on Friday, could have attracted many thousands more.
The decision will no doubt disappoint many of the superstar's adoring fans who would have loved to have had the chance to get a glimpse of him, and Mr Deol himself was reportedly delighted to have been asked to do the honours.
But while it would have been a coup for the city to have someone of Mr Deol's status switch on the lights, the safety of the many thousands of people at the event must surely come first.
NEW LEBANESE HOME BUFFET EVERY DAY @ CEDARS LEBANESE REST £ 6.99...View details
A LA CARTE MENU ALWAYS AVAILABLE :)
Terms: Entertainment SATURDAY NIGHT Live Belly Dancer
Contact: 0116 2169184
Valid until: Monday, May 27 2013
Organisers simply cannot risk the possibility of excited revellers getting injured, or worse, in the excitement to get close to their hero.
The decision to not go ahead with the appearance, while disappointing, is a sensible one.
In a disgusting show of selfishness, vandals have caused thousands of pounds of damage to a charity's ambulance by covering it in graffiti, making it unusable.
This is the same charity, Age UK, that was targeted by yobs when trouble flared in Leicester, and across the country, last summer. On that occasion, one of its minibuses was destroyed by a firebomb.
This time, the paint daubed on the vehicle will have to be professionally removed and the vehicle resprayed, and the charity will have to hire in a vehicle while the work is done.
Any vandalism is a blight on people's lives, but targeting a charity, which people work so hard – usually for nothing – to keep running, is particularly loathsome. As well as costing the charity cash, the vandalism affects those elderly people for whom Age UK and its minibus are a lifeline.
One can only hope that when the culprits are brought to justice they are made to realise the far-reaching effect of their actions.