Entertainment

Drugs and rock 'n' roll

Huge crowds flocked to Splendour in the Grass on its return to Byron Bay.
Huge crowds flocked to Splendour in the Grass on its return to Byron Bay. Blainey Woodham

TWEED and Byron's top cop has called for "the culture of drug taking at music events" to stop, after more than 400 people were detected with drugs at Splendour in the Grass.

Tweed/Byron Local Area Command Superintendent Stuart Wilkins said police were kept busy during the four-day festival with most of their time taken up with drug and alcohol-related issues.

"Over 400 people were found in possession of prohibited drugs and that is simply unacceptable," he said.

"This culture of drug-taking at music events needs to stop!"

Many thousands attended the four-day music festival, which this year returned to its traditional home at Byron Bay's Belongil Fields after being held at Woodford in Queensland for the past two years.

The more than 100 additional police brought in from around the state for operation Splendour 2012 were supported by the Mounted Unit, Dog Unit, Public Order and Riot Squad, Operation Support Group and officers from the Alcohol and Licensing Enforcement Command.

Supt Wilkins said officers conducted 730 people searches, 30 vehicle searches and issued 74 move-on directions.

"Drug detection dogs were used throughout the event, resulting in 421 people being found in possession of illegal drugs including amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and LSD," he said.

"192 people were issued court attendance notices for possess/supply prohibited drug while police also issued 154 cannabis caution notices."

"Six juveniles were allegedly found in possession of drugs and will receive cautions under the Young Offenders Act. Investigations are continuing into a number of other drug offences."

Motorists did not escape police attention with nine people charged for PCA offences while seven people tested positive to ecstasy during roadside drug tests.

Supt Wilkins said police were surprised by the extreme measures employed by some people to get alcohol and drugs into the venue.

"People went to extreme measures to get drugs and alcohol into the festival including one employee who was allegedly detected trying to bring liquor and drugs into the event."

"We also had a 29-year-old woman attempt to smuggle spirits into the festival by hiding containers underneath her top.

Topics:  drugs, lismore, music, splendour in the grass



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