Festival Security Bamboozled when Police Refuse to make Drug Arrest

Found on a forum for the security industry is the account of a young man discovered trying to enter a festival with “1 ounze (sic) of white powder in one packet, loads of wraps of another white powder, a number of acid tabs (enough to qualify as dealing by themselves) and digital scales.”

Wait for it, there’s more to the story.

Usually, someone found with this quantity of drugs on them at a festival would be turned over to the police, have their drugs confiscated, be taken to a police station, have other drugs planted on them, be charged with possession with intent to supply, be thrown in front of a judge, sentenced to 20 years and finally be released into a pleasant spiral of no prospects, crime and further prison.

However this time something different happened, as 'littlewoman', a festival security guard and the forum member who brought this to everyone's attention, goes on to say. The man was indeed carted off to the police tent, but the reaction there was not something approximate to: “What? Found with drugs? And at a festival! In 20 years I’ve never seen such... You need to get a sense of time and place my friend!”

Rather, the police reaction was to “refuse to arrest him .” Littlewoman asks if any police on the forum would “like to explain why on earth the police would let this go?” and whether legal experts would “care to comment on where security stand if they arrest someone for an offence and the police don’t want to deal with it?”

Surprisingly, neither police nor legal experts were forthcoming on the forum. Instead, the first response to littlewoman’s plea was: “chill out love that’s normal ... and one more thing NICE PEOPLE USE DRUGS.” While this user gets bonus points for alluding to Release’s campaign to reduce the hypocrisy in the way drugs are managed in society, he was later buried in an avalanche of abuse and hysteria, including the witticism, “wrong mate, dickheads take drugs.”

It was left to ‘shiney’, another security guard, to provide the other reasoned response of the day when, after calling Release “the 'nice folk' at the festy's,” he described his own security policy at a recent festival: “We turned a blind eye to everyone with small amounts of Cannabis as 1) We would have had a riot on our hands (If they weren’t too stoned!) and 2) We probably wouldn’t have had any punters!!” He goes on to state that they had almost no trouble all weekend.

It seems as though some police have woken up to the unenforceability of drug laws at festivals, but most security guards still need to do the same. People are going to attempt to take drugs into festivals, and the repercussions of them succeeding are negligible. The approach that Shiney and his colleagues took seems about right within the current framework, but really what is needed are drug laws that do not make a mockery of justice. One day the security guard in this video won't need to hide from anyone who may be watching: