Slam pill tests

PILL-TESTING gives people a “false confidence” that the drug they want to take is safe, is the warning from Police Commissioner Mick Fuller.

Don’t give youth ‘false confidence’ any drug safe, police claim

He rejected a number of recommendations handed down by NSW Deputy Coroner Harriet Grahame after an inquest into the drug-related deaths of six young people at music festivals over two years, including 18-year-old Hoang (Nathan) Tran in December 2017 at Knockout Circuz at Sydney Showgrounds, and 19-year-old Callum Brosnan in December 2018 at Knockout Games of Destiny at Sydney Olympic Park.
“All illegal substances carry the risk of harming, or ultimately killing, the user,” Comm Fuller said.
“The community cannot ignore the fact that music festivals create a concentrated market for drug supply and organised criminal groups.”
Ms Grahame also recommended police scrap the use of sniffer dogs and limit strip searches saying they don’t “deter drug users from consuming drugs”.
“In my view there is strong evidence that the operation of drug dog detection programs may cause significant harm in the music festival environment,” she said.
“Risky ingestion and secretion, trauma especially when coupled with strip search and the destruction of trust between young people and police, are all serious concerns.”
Her other recommendations included treating drugs as a social and health issue rather than a criminalising problem and introducing specific education programs “dedicated to deaths at music festivals” for high school students.
On Thursday, the NSW Parliament passed legislation to reinstate a festival safety system that requires high-risk music festivals to prepare a safety management plan which Minister for Customer Service, Victor Dominello, says will apply to just 11 of the more than 90 festivals in the State.
“The vast majority of festivals are managed responsibly and are safe, however the death and serious illnesses that have occurred compelled the Government to act,” he said.
“Ultimately this is about ensuring music festivals are safe and adequately resourced to respond to medical emergencies.”