Police Praise Field Day Attendees Despite Over 200 Drug Arrests

New South Wales Police have praised most attendees of Sydney’s New Year’s Day festival Field Day for being “well-behaved”, despite over 200 people being arrested for drug-related offences, mainly for drug possession and supply.

Police arrested 204 people for more than 215 offences in The Domain, out of a crowd of around 28,000, and festival organisers have been quick to point out that it means only 0.7 per cent of attendees were charged.

Four people were also taken to hospital with suspected drug-related health issues at Field Day, but have since been released. Onsite paramedics treated about 70 people at the festival, with alcohol and drugs playing “a significant role” in many cases, according to police.

Of the 204 people arrested at Field Day 2017, police arrested a 24-year-old woman who was allegedly carrying 130 pills and over $2,000 in cash. She’s been charged with supplying a prohibited drug and dealing with property proceeds of crime, and will appear in court in February.

184 people were arrested over drug-related offences at Field Day in January 2016, while 214 were arrested in 2015.

Despite this year’s drug arrests, Police Operation Commander, Detective Inspector Andrew Marks says he’s pleased that most punters took police warnings on board.

“We work closely with event organisers to ensure the festival is safe and fun, and are pleased the overwhelming majority of revellers were well-behaved,” Marks says.

“It’s disappointing there were still some people who ignored our advice and tried to bring illegal drugs past the drug-detection dogs and through the gates.

“The safety and wellbeing of people attending the event is our number one priority and we will continue to run operations such as these at major music festivals to help ensure events are safe.”

Prior to Field Day 2017, organisers warned punters of a “very large drug dog operation” planned for the event, and have since taken to Facebook to thank NSW Police and NSW Ambulance for their assistance.

Read their full statement, below.

Gallery: Field Day 2016, The Domain, Sydney / Photos: Maria Boyadgis

Field Day Statement (Via Facebook)

Hi there, here are some stats from FIELD DAY today:

28,000 people came to the Domain. It was the 16th year of Field Day.

There was a very large police presence including drug dogs and an undercover operation. 205 people (0.7% of attendees) were charged. There were 184 least year & 214 the year before.

14 people visited the medical tent for drug related issues (19 last year).

Well done to all the enthusiastic customers who rushed to do our Red Cross save-a-mate drug & alcohol harm-minimisation course. 113 patrons were trained in the first 35 minutes of the event and their feedback was that it’s a fantastic initiative and they found the training very useful. The save-a-mate team also provided training to 440 bar and event staff. Fuzzy looks forward to further developing this program with the Red Cross in 2017.

Fuzzy would like to thank all stakeholders who made Field Day possible including The Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney Festival, NSW Police, NSW Ambulance, ISEC Security, Colbrow Medics and Red Cross.

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