Organisers and police in harmony
POLICE caught more than 100 people with drugs including cannabis leaf and cannabis cookies during the 20th annual MardiGrass at Nimbin on the weekend.
Ninety-three people were issued with cannabis cautions, while 14 were charged with drug and traffic offences.
More than 500 random breath tests were done, with three drivers arrested for drink driving and seven detected driving under the influence of drugs.
Inspector Mick Smith from the Richmond Local Area Command said while crowd numbers were down, behaviour was an improvement on previous years.
Inspector Smith said this was due to successful liaising between police, organisers and Lismore City Council.
Organiser Michael Balderstone said good attendance figures, helped by the balmy weather, meant they were likely to cover the estimated $40,000 cost of the event for the first time in several years.
"So many people from around Australia and overseas come. It's a huge drawcard so it's important that we make it work," he said.
A team of volunteers, including overseas backpackers, spent yesterday cleaning the streets and tearing down crowd barriers.
Mr Balderstone said the most noteworthy aspect this year was the new level of trust and respect that had been in evidence between police and organisers. He said police had been less aggressive and had cautioned attendees in situations that in previous years they would have made arrests.
"If they give a bit of respect they get it back tenfold and this year they did show respect," he said.
"It was smart policing."
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