Police have charged over 100 fans on the final day of Stereosonic 2013‘s Sydney leg, which concluded at the Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park on Sunday. The second day of a police operation searched 641 people, later charging 122 with a number of different offences.
In a year that saw the festival expand into a two-day event with an expanded capacity of 65,000 attendees, NSW police charged 108 people over the alleged possession of prohibited drugs, with six charged with drug supply and a further six arrested in connection to alcohol-related offences.
Police also charged four people over alleged assault incidents which occurred at the venue, while standby Ambulance Paramedics treated 149 people at Sydney Olympic Park for undisclosed medical conditions, with four people taken to hospital for further assistance.
A rigorous, high-visibility police operation was launched on Day One of the event (Saturday, 30th November), involving more than 200 police officers from the South West Metropolitan Region, the Dog Unit, including drug-detection dogs, Public Order and Riot Squad, and Mounted Unit.
Officers from the Police Transport Command undertook an operation at Central Railway Station, targeting punters on their way to the festival, arresting and charging seven people. Drug detection dogs were employed during the operation, resulting in 39 searches and the seizing of drugs.
Seven people were charged with alleged drug possession, a further seven issued move-on directions, and large quantities of alcohol were confiscated from public transport hubs during the Police Transport Command’s operation, though anti-social behaviour was not widespread.
Operation Commander, Superintendent David Eardley was enthusiastic about the conduct of most punters, though reserved disappointment over the actions of some at the event, saying:
“While most revellers enjoyed the festival safely, the number of people caught with illegal drugs or alcohol was definitely of concern. Drug detection dogs were used during the event, which led to more than 100 people being charged over the possession or supply of illegal substances.”
“Police will continue to target people over drug possession as these substances are illegal,” Supt. Eardley continued. “They pose very serious health risks and in some instances they can prove lethal.” In September a young man attending Sydney’s Defqon.1 died of a drug overdose.
“Overall the high-visibility police operation yielded some excellent results in targeting anti-social behaviour as well as drug and alcohol related offences at both public transport hubs and at the venue itself,” added Supt. Eardley, “We will continue to run this type of operation in the future.”
Supt. Eardley explained that such stringent police measures “ensure revellers can attend festivals and enjoy themselves in a safe environment.” Last year, 92 people were arrested at Stereosonic’s Melbourne event, following an extensive police crackdown that targeted drug activity at the event.