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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Tell me, where do the children play? 

I wasn't in Auckland for this year's Big Day Out but by all accounts it sounded like a great success.

Despite 40,000 fans attending there were very few problems:
Condom balloons floated through the air, the smell of marijuana wafted here and there, and around the stadium a man walked body-painted as a giraffe.
This year's Big Day Out festival at Mount Smart Stadium - with major international acts Neil Young, The Prodigy and Arctic Monkeys among nearly 90 gigs - was a hit with nearly 40,000 people, aged from under 10 to over 60.
The audience was relatively well-behaved, despite three arrests and three people taken to hospital, spokesman Paul McKessar said.
The arrests were for drug possession, disorderly behaviour and being unlawfully on the premises, while medical conditions rather than injuries caused the hospital visits, Mr McKessar said.

The statistics suggest the NZ Police adopted a non-confontational approach and nearly everyone had a smashing and safe time as a result.

In complete contrast to the New Zealand approach, the boys in blue in Australia have been aggressively seeking out recreational drug users at the BDO series and hundreds of people have been arrested as a result.

The Aussie coppers have been targetting people entering the festival as it winds throughout the country (bar Melbourne) with drug sniffer dogs.

Over 80 were arrested at Sydney's BDO and 60 more in Perth.

While this practice may boost police arrest statistics and scare some people off taking drugs with them to the concert, it's also very dangerous for public health.

It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out what the thousands of kids with with recreational drugs on them going to the biggest party of the year are going to do when they see the sniffer dogs and Police search teams does it?

They're going to swallow all their drugs in one go.

And this aggressive policy of targetting festival goers claimed it's first life in the weekend:
A 17-year-old girl admitted to hospital after a suspected drug overdose at yesterday's Big Day Out concert in Perth has died overnight. A friend of the family told 6PR Radio that the girl took three ecstasy tablets before entering the festival's gates after she spotted police searching people for drugs.
The witness said the girl then went on a ride with friends when she began to shake and her lips turned blue.
Within moments she collapsed and was taken to hospital, where she died early this morning.
Police confirmed the girl had taken a number of pills before entering the event, which was held in 36-degree heat and humidity.

Perth BDO
1 dead
60 arrests for recreational drug possession
40 others arrested for varying offences

Way to protect and serve.


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