Pubdate: Tue, 31 Jul 2012
Source: Northern Star (Australia)
Copyright: 2012 APN News & Media Ltd
Author: Rodney Stevens


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.
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