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56 Arrested At Summadayze Festival In Melbourne

Written by John Ritchie on January 1, 2012

Police continue to ignore numerous complaints against the use of sniffer dogs at music festivals. 56 people were arrested today at the Summadayze 2012 Festival in Melbourne, held at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Police conducted a sniffer dog operation at the festival and as a result of the arrests, 53 people will have to attend a drug diversion program while the other 3 were interviewed in relation to drug possession.

Victorian police have issued a statement:

Drugs seized at the event, held at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, included ecstasy, amphetamine, cocaine, cannabis and illegally acquired prescription medication.

Operations Commander Senior Sergeant Damien Christensen said despite community education and plenty of warnings from police, it was disappointing that people would still take the risk.

“There is no such thing as a safe party drug and people put their lives at risk taking illegal drugs”, Senior Sergeant Damien Christensen said.

“Additionally, there are hefty penalties associated with drug use and trafficking and a criminal conviction is something that does not go away.

“Police will continue to run PAD dog operations at music festivals and other events in Victoria, targeting illicit drug use and trafficking”, he said.

Police continue to ignore numerous complaints about their use of sniffer dogs at music festivals. Recent figures released by the State Government show that the sniffer dogs are often mistaken. This year NSW Police have conducted more than 14,000 searches on people after sniffer dogs reacted to the potential presence of illegal drugs. In over 11,000 of those cases illicit substances were not found, meaning that 4 times out of 5 the dogs get it wrong.

Stephen Blanks, The president of The NSW Council for Civil Liberties, recently emailed Music Feeds a complaint from a punter who was searched at the Homebake Festival in Sydney. The punter claimed that the handling of the situation was unprofessional and publicly embarrassing for him. Mr Blanks said “This is the typical sort of experience we see in many of the complaints we get”.

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