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Drugs dogs targeting festival with a whole new level of power

Police will be kicking revellers out of a music festival this weekend, even if they can’t find suspected drugs on them.

Anyone who catches the attention of drug detection dogs at the Above and Beyond Festival at Sydney Showground on Saturday could be turfed.

Police say if there is an indication someone has been carrying drugs they can’t be charged, but they can be barred from the festival.

Assistant Commissioner Peter Thurtell tells Ben Fordham not everybody will be turned away.

“The message we’re trying to get across to the people is don’t take the risk of being arrested or excluded from the party, by taking or carrying drugs.”

AC Thurtell says at recent festivals, dozens of empty condoms were found in bathrooms at the venue, which have been used to smuggle drugs in.

“We have good solid background history as to why this strategy is necessary, we’ve had a lot of people present for medical presentations at these events.”

The Greens have labelled the change an “abuse of powers”.

But the Assistant Commissioner says, “It’s all about the health and safety of the patrons… we’ve had people die.”

Full chat can be heard below

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