Police have warned festival-goers that they’ll be conducting a “high visibility operation” involving sniffer dogs, roadside drug and alcohol tests and plain-clothed officers at Splendour In The Grass 2016, which officially kicks off on Friday, 22nd July.
In a statement posted to Facebook (below), New South Wales Police say they want want punters to stay safe during this year’s Splendour shenanigans, reinforcing that police will be targeting illegal drug use.
“We will be focused on targeting those involved with illegal drug use and supply, underage drinking, alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour,” says Detective Superintendent Wayne Starling.
“Festival-goers who choose to do the wrong thing, breach the event’s terms and conditions or risk the safety of other music fans, will be quickly identified and dealt with accordingly.
“A warning to anyone planning on bringing illegal drugs into the festival – we will have both uniformed and plain-clothes police with drug-detection dogs patrolling the entire event footprint – so think again as you can expect to be caught and could face legal action.
“Participants caught in possession of illegal drugs can also expect to be removed from the site by event organisers and anyone who attends the festival affected by drugs or alcohol may be refused entry.
“Not only are recreational drugs illegal, they are dangerous and potentially life-threatening, especially when combined with alcohol.”
As always, medical staff will be on hand at this year’s Splendour In The Grass, and police say its important that punters take care of each other throughout the event.
“If you believe the health of another festival-goer may be affected by drugs, alcohol, or any other factor, please tell someone immediately and seek professional medical assistance,” Mr Starling says.
“We want Splendour to be an incident-free weekend – police aren’t there to spoil the fun; however, if you choose to break the law, disrupt other festival-goers or create issues for the local community – you will be dealt with swiftly.”
Aside from the use of drugs, police say they will also be targeting speeding, drink-and-drug-driving and fence jumping.
“We will not tolerate anyone putting themselves or other innocent road users at risk so make sure you’re driving to the conditions, everyone in your vehicle is wearing their seat belt and stick to the speed limit,” Mr Starling says.
“Officers will be conducting regular roadside drug and alcohol testing so if you’re drinking make sure you have a plan B.
“Plan your trip ahead of time and if you’re travelling a long distance be sure to take advantage of regular rest areas so you’re not driving tired.”
As The Northern Star reports, Acting Police Superintendent Gary Cowan says budding fence jumpers should just stay home. “The event is sold out. If you do not have a ticket, do not come,” Mr Cowan says.
92 people were arrested for drug offences at Splendour In The Grass 2015, but police praised the “overwhelming majority of revellers” for being well-behaved.
The police operation at this year’s Splendour In The Grass will involve officers from Tweed/Byron Local Area Command, the Northern Region and the Dog Unit, Public Order and Riot Squad, Operations Support Group, and Traffic and Highway Patrol.
Splendour 2016 begins on Friday, 22nd July, and concludes on Sunday, 24th July. Event information — including banned items — can be found at the Splendour In The Grass website, with all the latest traffic information at the Live Traffic website and the Traffic Information Line on 132 701.
Read NSW Police’s full statement below, and stay up to date with the latest from the festival over at the Splendour 2016 Feed.
Gallery: The Best Of Splendour In The Grass 2015 / Photos: Yael Stempler