With the strong support for pill testing floating around and the NSW Gov’s stubborn refusal to even listen to suggestions that would actually make music festivals safer, the results of last year’s super strict safety measures are in. And they got a big fat fail.
The police were authorised to perform strip searches on any festival-goer that caught the attention of sniffer dogs. And boy did they. But almost every violating and humiliating search they performed turned up with zero illegal substances. Less than 10% of the searches they did found any drugs, which is not surprising given how notoriously inaccurate sniffer dogs are.
Unsurprisingly this has had some repercussions. An investigation has been launched into conduct of the police at Splendour and boy has it revealed some things. A 16-year-old girl came forward after being strip searched last year (with no drugs being found obvs) who is understandably super upset with the cops. She was reportedly pulled aside purely because of the sniffer dog’s reaction.
Alleged misconduct by police at Splendour now includes an officer who reportedly fudged the quantity of drugs on one festival-goer. Apparently the police didn’t pack enough scales to go round and guessing was an acceptable substitute. Right then. It’s reported the amount of drugs told to the magistrate was almost eight times what was recorded when said festival goer was pulled up.
I don’t need to tell you how frustrating this whole bloody shemozzle is, you’re probably just as annoyed already. It’s a damn shame those in charge cannot seem to grasp the way they’re currently addressing the whole music festival/safety approach ain’t working. Fingers crossed the Coroner’s recommendations are listened to when they’re released.
Images: Claudia Ciapocha and Miranda Stokkel (Splendour in the Grass Facebook)