Drug amnesty bins to debut on NYE

Sydney's NYE in the Park music festival will be the first in the state to have drug ­"amnesty bins" under new measures designed to give attendees a last-minute chance to surrender illegal substances before fronting sniffer dogs.

Festival patrons have been assured by NSW Health, who will operate the 12-month trial of the bin system, that they can approach the bins and throw their drugs away without police intervention.

 

NYE In The Park 2018
NYE In The Park 2018

 

"Festival patrons will be able to use the bins without fear of being arrested or being monitored by police," a Health statement said.

"We encourage patrons to use the amnesty bins as well as to seek support and advice from the peer-based harm reduction services and the medical services at the event."

Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on December 11 the bins would be introduced at festivals this summer, which was one of dozens of recommendations from a coronial inquest into six festival deaths last summer

 

 

 

The Premier has rejected other recommendations such as pill testing and abolishing sniffer dogs.
The Premier has rejected other recommendations such as pill testing and abolishing sniffer dogs.

 

 

Ms Berejiklian rejected other recommendations such as pill testing and abolishing sniffer dogs.

The New Year's Eve rave in Victoria Park at Camperdown will be the first test of the initiative.

Each festival deemed "high risk" by the government will have two bins, with the locations planned with festival organisers.

They will be secured and security guards will be hired to watch the bins for the duration of the festival, until they are collected for "secure disposal".

"Ample signage will direct festival-goers to the location of the bins, which will also be marked," Health said in the statement.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the introduction of the bins earlier this month. Picture: Mick Tsikas
Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the introduction of the bins earlier this month. Picture: Mick Tsikas

NSW Police gave their own assurance they would not hassle patrons using the bins.

"The NSW Police Force supports the NSW Health-led 12-month trial of drug disposal bins," a police statement said.

"While the exact bin placement will depend on the venue and crowd ingress, they will be placed outside the area of the police operation and officers will be directed not to patrol or interact with the bins.

"We will be working closely with NSW Health and consult on an array of issues, including bin placement, disposal of contents, and security of the bins."

 



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