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Police praise festival-goers following Yours and Owls Festival - Wollongong

Monday, 19 April 2021 02:49:58 PM

Police are praising the community for their adherence to Public Health Orders and general good behaviour following a music festival in Wollongong at the weekend.

A high visibility police operation commenced on Saturday (17 April 2021) and concluded yesterday (Sunday 18 April 2021), focusing on public health guidelines, alcohol and drug related crime, violence and anti-social behaviour.

The operation involved officers from Wollongong Police District, the NSW Police Dog Unit, Southern Region Enforcement Squad, Operations Support Group, Police Transport Command and other specialist commands.

Additional officers from the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command were also deployed to ensure everyone arrived and left the event safely.

Wollongong Police District Commander, Acting Superintendent Gordon Dunlop said there was a strong focus on high visibility policing for the duration of the event.

“Police resources from across the region assisted our officers from Wollongong in targeting any anti-social behaviour,” Acting Supt Dunlop said.

“We wanted to ensure that everyone attending the Yours and Owls Festival had a great time, and we worked closely with event organisers to ensure the event occurred in the safest possible environment.

“A number of sets were briefly interrupted by event organisers to ensure compliance with their COVIDsafe plan, but police were not required to shut down any part of the event, which is a positive outcome given the number of festival-goers in attendance.”

Despite the overall good behaviour, police were disappointed with a small number who chose to bring prohibited drugs into the event.

Over the two days, 32 criminal infringement notices were issued in relation to drug possession, four people were refused entry to the event, seven people were removed from the event by police and three people were charged with fail to quit offences.

“We took legal action against a number of event-goers who chose to bring various prohibited drugs – including methylamphetamine, MDMA, LSD, cannabis and cocaine – into the event,” Acting Supt Dunlop said.

“What should have been a fun day out with friends has turned into a costly post-event hangover for those who chose to do the wrong thing.”