Police warn Secret Garden Party festival-goers of zero tolerance policy on drugs

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Police Stock. police officers - Credit: Archant

Police have warned festival-goers ahead of this weekend’s Secret Garden Party not to take drugs to the event at Abbots Ripton.

Officers will be carrying out security checks at the event and have also warned about the dangers of new psychoactive substances (NPS) more commonly known as legal highs.

Chief Inspector Laura Hunt, of Cambridgeshire police, said her officers are working with the orgnisers to ensure the event remains “family-friendly” and would be taking a zero tolerance to drug dealing.”

“We encourage festival attendees to be responsible and aware of the dangers of drugs and substance misuse,” she said.

“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.

According to police, at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, a total of 27 different tablet designs of various shapes and colours were seized and initial tests suggest the tablets contain MDMA, but full forensic analysis is currently being undertaken to establish the exact content.

Substance Misuse Coordinator, for Cambridgeshire police, 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.”

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

INFO: @CambsCops and www.cambs.police.uk/SGP.