Topics:  belongil fields, byron bay, crime, drugs, police, splendour in the grass

Drug dogs discover Splendour stash

DRUG detection dogs found 421 people with a variety of illegal drugs including amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and LSD at Splendour in the Grass on the weekend.

Police have expressed their disappointment with crowd behaviour following the four day music festival which began at the Belongil Fields, Byron Bay, last Thursday.

A strong police contingent including general duties officers, the Mounted Unit, Dog Unit, Public Order & Riot Squad, Operation Support Group and officers from the Alcohol and Licensing Enforcement Command took to the festival along with officers from the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing.

Officers conducted 730 person searches and 30 vehicle searches whilst also issuing 74 move-on directions.

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 and investigations are continuing into a number of other drug offences.

Nine people charged for PCA offences while seven people tested positive to ecstasy during roadside drug tests.

Officers also responded to a number of anti-social and alcohol-related incidents including seven intoxicated people, five assaults and ten licensing offences.

A number of street offences were also detected including 40 people found in possession of alcohol in alcohol-free zones and 19 people dealt with for offensive behaviour.

Tweed/Byron Local Area Commander, Superintendent Stuart Wilkins, said it was disappointing to have so many people found in possession of illicit drugs.

"We were kept busy over the four days but once again drug and alcohol-related incidents dominated our time.

"Over 400 people were found in possession of prohibited drugs and that is simply unacceptable. This culture of drug-taking at music events needs to stop.

"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.

"In another incident five men from Melbourne were also charged after officers conducted a search of their car and located cannabis concealed in the roof lining of the vehicle," said Superintendent Wilkins.

Superintendent Wilkins said the behaviour of a number of people affected by alcohol was also disappointing.

"Police were there to ensure public safety, not spoil the party but some people were unable to control themselves and treated officers as punching bags," he said.

"One drunken woman was charged after elbowing a female officer in the face while a 16-year-old boy was ejected from the event after being found intoxicated.

"After receiving a number of complaints the licensee of one venue was issued infringement notices for allegedly failing to comply with licence conditions by jeopardising patron safety."



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