Over 200 revellers attending yesterday’s Field Day festival were arrested for drug offences in what police described as an “extremely concerning” jump on the previous year’s numbers. The 214 arrests is up from 140 people arrested at the same event last year, and 153 the year before.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, police arrested 214 people allegedly in possession of illicit drugs during the New Year’s Day festival, which takes annually in Sydney’s Domain. The punters were reportedly in possession of amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, and ice.
Chief Inspector Stuart Bell told Fairfax that the number of people arrested on Thursday was a record for the one-day event, which attracted nearly 25,000 people to The Domain. “The drug dog operation this year resulted in the most arrests police have made during the history of the festival,” he said.
“[This] is extremely concerning and shows that some attendees are still not getting the message. We make no apologies for finding these people and putting them before the courts.” Meanwhile, paramedics attended to 190 people at the event, with three taken to hospital for treatment.
Among those arrested were two women, aged 20 and 21, who were allegedly found carrying 125 ecstasy tablets between them. A 19-year-old man was also allegedly found carrying 40 ecstasy tablets. All three have been charged with supplying prohibited drugs and were granted conditional police bail.
The spate of arrests comes just a day after 31 people were charged with drug offences and six women were taken to hospital suffering adverse reactions to drugs during a New Year’s Eve performance by dance group Above & Beyond at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney.
The arrests also come less than two months after the tragic and much-publicised death of Sydney teenager Georgina Bartter. The 19-year-old died after suffering an allergic reaction to an unknown drug during the Harbourlife music festival in Sydney.