POLICE say they will take a zero tolerance approach to drugs and illegal activity at this weekend’s Rainbow Serpent Festival to ensure the event remains safe for all.
The annual festival in Lexton, near Ballarat, starts on Friday.
As part of the operation to tackle illegal activity, additional resources from across the western region as well as the operations response unit will be assisting local police around the clock.
Ballarat Area Commander Inspector Dan Davison said every year police deal with serious crimes such as sexual assaults and drug trafficking at the event.
“Last year we also saw far too many people making dangerous and illegal choices by getting behind the wheel when they were either drug or alcohol affected,” Inspector Davison said.
“The presence of drugs at music festivals and similar events and the risks involved in consuming them is always of concern both to police and the community in general.”
The warnings come after Pyrenees Shire mayor Robert Vance said he believed pill testing should go ahead at the festival.
READ MORE: Pyrenees Mayor backs pill testing
Inspector Davison said people should take care of friends at the festival.
“For anyone who is intending to take illicit drugs, we’d simply say don’t do it,” he said.
“Drugs are manufactured by criminals who have no regard for the well-being of those taking them.
“We will have a highly visible presence aiming to detect and deter any illegal activity.”
Police will speak later today about the controversial issue of pill testing at music festivals and their plans for dealing with the weekend’s festivities around the region.
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