Drugs Warning Ahead Of Secret Garden Party

23 July 2015, 06:08 | Updated: 23 July 2015, 06:10

Festival goers are being warned about substance misuse ahead of the Secret Garden Party.

Police are urging people not to take drugs at the event which is due to take place at Abbots Ripton this weekend.

More than 30,000 people are expected to attend the event between Thursday July 23 and Monday July 27.

Among other substances, a total of 27 different tablet designs of various shapes and colours were seized at Glastonbury Festival last month. Initial tests suggest the tablets contain MDMA, but full forensic analysis is currently being undertaken to establish the exact content.  

Police have also warned about the dangers of drugs and new psychoactive substances (NPS) - more commonly known as legal highs.

Substance Misuse Coordinator Shelley Ward said: "Just because some of the new psychoactive substances are referred to as legal highs - it does not mean they are harmless, on occasions these substances can be as strong if not stronger than the substance they are trying to imitate. Remember there's no way of knowing what you are using when you take any substance."

Chief Inspector Laura Hunt says: "We encourage festival attendees to be responsible and aware of the dangers of drugs and substance misuse.

"I would urge anyone considering taking any substance to be aware of the dangers and understand the potentially devastating effect drugs and substances can have on your health and family.

"We are working with the organisers to ensure it is a family-friendly event and will take a zero tolerance to drug dealing.”

Police and security staff will be carrying out security checks on anyone attending the event.

Meanwhile, officers say they have been working closely with event organisers and the local authority during the past few months to manage the event and minimise the impact it will have on the local community.

Motorists are being advised to leave extra time for journeys during the festival, due to the increased volume of traffic on roads in the Huntingdon area. It is expected to be particularly busy on Thursday July 23 as thousands travel to the event. Local facilities, including the supermarkets in Huntingdon, may also be busier than usual during this period.

Chief Inspector Laura Hunt said: "Our number one priority for the Secret Garden Party is public safety, both of local residents and people attending the festival. However, we will not tolerate people using the event as an excuse to commit crime.

"We have thoroughly planned for the event and been in regular contact with both the festival organisers and local authority. I’m confident the decisions that have been made, including to have extra police officers on duty, will make sure the event runs smoothly, causes the minimum amount of disruption to the local community as possible and won't impact on our ability to police the local area."