03 January 2020 00:32
New South Wales police arrested 169 punters attending Sydney's Field Day music festival on drug-related charges. In a statement shared on Facebook, police revealed that a high-visibility operation, led by Redfern Region Enforcement Squad, was implemented for the duration of the New Year's Day festival. Out of the 27,000 punters that attended Field Day, 167 were arrested for drug possession, and two for supply. Those arrests included a 19-year-old man, who was charged after he was found in possession of 3.4 grams of MDMA. Field Day was one of the first festivals to implement drug amnesty bins, set to be rolled out at "high-risk" festivals across the state over the next twelve months.
Police officers were ordered to diver their operation away from the bins, in an attempt to encourage attendees to abandon their drugs without legal ramifications. "Officers will be directed not to ordinarily patrol or interact with the bins," Assistant Police Commissioner Michael Willing told the Daily Mail. "We don't want to see police standing around where the bins are and stopping people from disposing of personal-use drugs." Plans to implement the amnesty bins were unveiled in early December, following an inquest into a slew of drug-related fatalities that took place at music festivals in NSW last summer. Alongside these arrests, 35 attendees were removed from the festival for being too intoxicated, whilst 36 were issued move-on directions, and one Youth Caution was issued. You can read the full statement below.