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EXCLUSIVE: Behind the scenes with police at Splendour

COPS: Police at Splendour.
COPS: Police at Splendour. Alina Rylko

IT PROBABLY wasn't on punters' bucket list of things to do at Splendour in the Grass, but a NSW Police frisk search tent was busy at the music festival where police mounted a high-visibility operation over three days.

Police set up at the entrance of the North Byron Parklands event targeting illegal drug use and supply among the 35,000 party-goers entering through the gates each day.

Tweed-Byron Local Area Command crime manager Detective Inspector Brendon Cullen confirmed an increase in the number of people attempting to conceal drugs inside their body, at this year's festival.

Detective Inspector Cullen warned police dogs were trained to detect the drugs, and had intercepted several people carrying illicit substances internally.

Three sniffer dogs could be seen triggering at least a dozen body searches every hour.

A frisk search tent was set up so punters could remove concealed drugs from the body.

Anyone caught with an illicit substance was interviewed by police, and given an on-the-spot fine, caution, court field attendance notice or arrested.

A formal statement on the number of arrests made and court notices given is expected on Monday.

A tent in the police area at Splendour in the Grass, where festival-goers are asked to remove any illicit substances which they have concealed inside their body.
A tent in the police area at Splendour in the Grass, where festival-goers are asked to remove any illicit substances which they have concealed inside their body. Alina Rylko

In the lead up to the festival, Tweed-Byron LAC Detective Superintendent Wayne Starling said police worked closely with event organisers to ensure the safety of event staff, performers and music fans.

"Splendour in the Grass has become one of the most popular annual music festival events in the country," Det Supt Starling said.

"We want everyone to have a great time but we won't tolerate behaviour that risks the safety of others.

"Festival-goers who choose to do the wrong thing, breach the event's terms and conditions or risk the safety of other music fans, will be quickly identified and dealt with accordingly."

Topics:  drugs northern rivers crime splendour in the grass tweed byron lac



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