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March 21, 2023

A splendid festival all round … apart from the arrests

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If you didn’t have to get involved with buses or cops it was a wonderful weekend of music, friends, sunshine, feasts, artistic expression and youthful exuberance.

According to police, more than 33,500 people attended the festival each day between Friday and Sunday, which included around 17,500 ticketholders camping on site.

And while most had an great time, quite a few hundred people did come under police notice, and their festival spirit might be just a little dampened with a future visit to court.

As a result of the drug dog operation, 323 people were detected in possession of prohibited drugs, including cannabis, ‘ice’, MDMA and cocaine. backlash-polites

Police subsequently issued 80 cannabis cautions and more than 200 field court attendance notices.

In addition, five people were charged over alleged drug supply, including a 20-year-old man who was intercepted by security for attempting to gain entry to the festival without a valid ticket. While searching the man, police allegedly located MDMA as well as a restricted prescribed substance, all of which was seized and will undergo forensic examination.

The man was arrested and taken to Byron Bay Police Station where he was charged with possess prohibited drug and supply prohibited drug. He was granted conditional bail and is due to face Byron Bay Local Court on Monday 15 August 2016.

Police issued more than 50 criminal infringement notices over alleged trespassing offences after people were detected attempting to enter the event grounds without valid tickets.

There was also a licensing operation in place over the course of the festival, which detected 16 breaches of license conditions. The alleged breaches will now be the subject of further investigation and possible legal action.

Tweed/Byron Local Area Commander, Detective Superintendent Wayne Starling, said he was pleased with the overall behaviour of festival-goers at this year’s event.

‘Once again police worked closely with Splendour organisers to ensure a safe and enjoyable festival, so it was positive to see that the majority of attendees heeded police warnings and behaved themselves,” Det Supt Starling said.

‘Our officers were even approached by music fans who thanked them for being there to keep everyone safe – it was tremendous to see such great support from the event community.

‘Unfortunately, there were some who ignored our advice and attempted to bring prohibited drugs into the festival; however, they were quickly intercepted by our drug-detection dogs,’ Det Supt Starling said.


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