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Scores of drug busts at Sydney music festivals

Dozens of Sydney music festival-goers have been busted with drugs amid a renewed push to stop the use of sniffer dogs and strip searches.

More than 80,000 people attended Listen Out at Centennial Park and Knockout Outdoor at Sydney Showgrounds on Saturday under the watchful eye of police.

At Listen Out, 85 out of the estimated crowd of 27,500 people were allegedly caught with prohibited drugs and 37 of those were issued court attendance notices.

Another eight attendees were charged with supplying a prohibited drug, two were arrested for assaulting police, one for wilful and obscene exposure and another for breaching of bail.

Across the city, 27 people at Knockout Outdoor were charged with with possessing a prohibited drug and another four with supplying a prohibited drug.

In one instance, a 26-year-old man who initially ran from police was found with 491 MDMA pills, four grams of cocaine and cash after a positive drug detection from a sniffer dog.

Dogs and searches

It comes after the Greens released NSW Police search figures showing sniffer dogs scored an average drug detection success rate of just 25 per cent during the last decade.

In NSW, officers can undertake either general or strip searches if they have a reasonable suspicion of illicit drug possession.

But drug dog detection does not entitle police to routinely conduct a search, and officers are required to ask follow-up questions, such as whether a person is in possession of banned drugs.

Police also responded to an emergency at Sydney Olympic Boulevard, outside the Knockout Outdoor festival, where a 26-year-old man was being treated by paramedics.

He was taken to Concord hospital and later died.

Another 21-year-old man was treated by paramedics at a Sydney CBD hotel before being transferred to hospital where he died.

Police are investigating both deaths and will prepare a report for the coroner.

Neither of the deaths occurred at a festival, a police spokeswoman said.

NSW Ambulance has been contacted for comment.


https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/state/nsw/sydney/2023/10/01/police-make-scores-of-drug-busts-at-sydney-music-festivals/ Scores of drug busts at Sydney music festivals

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