Police have warned Splendour In The Grass festival-goers of a police operation planned for this weekend’s three-day event, which will include the use of sniffer dogs.
A “high-visibility police operation” will be in place, including “specialist command support” which includes the use of drug detection dogs, NSW Police has confirmed to Music Feeds.
NSW Police declined to comment on whether officers would be using a tactic utilised at recent Sydney music festivals, which saw a number of ticket-holders denied entry after a drug dog made an indication towards them, despite no drugs being found on their person.
(UPDATE: The ABC is now reporting that police have said they won’t be turning people away without finding drugs on them. “You actually have to have drugs on you for us to take any action,” Chief Inspector Gary Cowan reportedly said.)
Police said they’ll be targeting illegal drug use and supply, drink-and-drug-driving, speeding, alcohol-fuelled violence and anti-social behaviour during Splendour this year.
If you’re planning on trying to sneak into Splendour illegally, take note that organisers have also warned any would-be fence-jumpers that police are already “monitoring” their plans.
“Festival-goers who choose to do the wrong thing, risk the safety of other music fans, or bring illegal drugs into the festival can expect to be caught and dealt with accordingly,” said Tweed/Byron Local Area Commander, Detective Superintendent Wayne Starling.
“Prohibited drugs can be extremely harmful to your health and are potentially life-threatening – particularly when combined with alcohol.”
Read NSW Police’s full statement, below.
Last year’s Splendour police operation was one of the largest to date, with police praising most attendees, despite a number of drug arrests, assaults and fence-jumpers.
Gallery: Splendour In The Grass 2017 – The Best Of You / Photos By Maria Boyadgis
NSW Police Statement (18/07/18):
Police are warning Splendour in the Grass ticket holders of the consequences of bringing illegal drugs into this weekend’s music festival, while urging patrons to stay safe and plan ahead.
A high-visibility police operation, involving officers from Tweed/Byron Police District, Northern Region general duties officers, and specialist command support, will target illegal drug use and supply, alcohol-fuelled violence and anti-social behaviour throughout the three-day festival.
Ticketholders will start arriving in the Byron Shire today (Wednesday 18 July 2018), with the festival officially kicking off on Friday (20 July 2018) and concluding on Sunday (22 July 2018).
Tweed/Byron Local Area Commander, Detective Superintendent Wayne Starling, said police have been working closely with event organisers and stakeholders to ensure the safety of event staff, performers and music fans throughout the festival.
“Festival-goers who choose to do the wrong thing, risk the safety of other music fans, or bring illegal drugs into the festival can expect to be caught and dealt with accordingly,” Det Supt Starling said.
“Prohibited drugs can be extremely harmful to your health and are potentially life-threatening – particularly when combined with alcohol,” Det Supt Starling said.
Anyone under the influence, or who feels unwell, is urged to seek professional medical attention.
Additionally, officers from the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command will be deployed to target speeding, drink-and-drug-driving and other dangerous driver behaviour.
“As with previous years, we are prepared for a considerable increase in traffic throughout the Byron Shire. Officers will be conducting regular roadside drug and alcohol testing and anyone caught driving under the influence will be arrested,” Det Supt Starling said.
“We are also reminding motorists to plan ahead, stick to the speed limit and ensure everyone in your vehicle is wearing their seat belt,” Det Supt Starling said.
For traffic information, visit www.livetraffic.com. Important event information, including items banned from the festival and campgrounds can be found at: http://splendourinthegrass.com.