Entertainment

More than 100 police to keep Splendour safe

Police sniffer dogs will be on the ground at Splendour In The Grass this year.
Police sniffer dogs will be on the ground at Splendour In The Grass this year. Patrick Gorbunovs

SNIFFER dogs, officers on horse back and the riot squad from Sydney form part of the 160-strong police presence that will be on the ground at Splendour in the Grass to ensure punters party safely this weekend.

Tweed/Byron Local Area Command will be bolstered with officers from across the state with the festival operation starting on Thursday at Byron Parklands.

Banning backpacks as well as vehicle searches and person searches using electronic 'wands' were some of the new measures to ramp up security in the wake of terror attacks abroad.

Tweed/Byron's Inspector Gary Cowan said the extra precautions were for the sole purpose of creating a safe environment for festival-goers.

Insp Cowan warned police and security personnel would work hand-in-hand to enforce a "zero tolerance" policy on illegal drugs at the three-day event.

He said those thinking about trying to sneak into the event, smuggle in prohibited drugs, alcohol or substances like firecrackers or should think twice.

Referring to previous police operations at the popular festival, Insp Cowan said the majority of patrons do the right thing.

"Of the 35,000 (people who attend), the crowd are all generally well-behaved," he said.

Back in 2015, police said 92 people were charged with drug offences and about 468 grams of illicit substances seized throughout the event.

He credited well-behaved crowds and the collaboration between festival organisers, security agencies and police as the key to the festival's success and minimal crime rate.

"It doesn't just happen," he said.

Topics:  northern rivers crime northern rivers entertainment northern rivers festivals police splendour2017 splendour in the grass


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