77 arrests at Sydney’s Defqon.1
Last Saturday’s sold-out Defqon.1 EDM festival in western Sydney was marred with 77 drug arrests. In addition, 80 were charged with drink driving and 44 driving while under the influence of drugs.
Police presence was high at the Sydney International Rowing Centre at Penrith was highly visible to the near 25,000 attendees – as to be expected following the deaths last year of 26-year old Nigel Pauljevic from Albury and in 2013 of a 23-year-old after overdosing on ecstasy.
The festival’s organisers had earlier posted on its website hat illicit substances were strictly forbidden.
“There will be a strong police, drug dog & security presence upon entry into the event to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing. If you are caught carrying illicit substances you will risk a jail sentence.”
A video on the website featured a video featuring artists who stressed that illicit pills were “made by dodgy people who don’t care about you”, “First aid is your friend”, “Stay hydrated throughout the day” and “Look after your mates.”
Officers from Penrith Local Area Command, the North West Metropolitan Region and the Dog Squad were on hand.
Six people were charged with supplying a prohibited drug. Over 200 needed treatment for drug and heat-related issues with six taken to Nepean Hospital for further treatment.
Before the event, Bondi-based law firm Gorval Lynch had offered free 20-minute consultations for Defqon.1 patrons if they had been “detained, stopped or charged by the police”. The idea of its post, the firm explained to patrons, was not to “incriminate yourself” because “that’s when charges are laid.”