Police warn festival goers to “stay safe”

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With the Electric Fields Music Festival coming up at Drumlanrig, Thornhill, at the weekend Police Scotland and the organisers are calling on all those attending to have fun, but to keep themselves safe.

Chief Inspector Stephen Stiff, Event Commander for Electric Fields said: ‘“The organisers, the emergency services and the many agencies involved have packed in a huge amount of work during months of planning to deliver what will be hopefully be a great weekend.

“Electric Fields is growing in size and is now a two day event and from a policing perspective events of this magnitude bring their own set of challenges but it is a rewarding and enjoyable experience for those involved.

“Police officers will be operating within all areas of the venue. They will work together with event stewards to keep everyone safe and they will be accessible to you so please take the opportunity to speak with them, particularly if you have any queries or concerns.

“Our priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of our communities, including the community that gathers for the weekend at Electric Fields. We want people to have fun and enjoy what is sure to be another excellent festival in the region.

“At the same time we want people to look after themselves, have respect for others and be mindful that what is against the law in Scotland is also against the law within any festival venue in Scotland.’’

“Police Scotland will adopt the same pro-active approach to the dealing and misuse of drugs at Electric Fields as we do across the rest of Scotland.”

“New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) aka Legal highs have been proved to be dangerous and recent legislation has created criminal offences covering the production and distribution of these. We are working with the organiser of Electric Fields and part of the condition of entry is that NPS are not permitted at Electric Fields.

“Anyone who takes these substances has no idea of what they actually contain. Medical professionals also struggle to identify the make-up of these drugs and as such can make it problematic for them to treat the effects. They could have been mixed with drugs or other substances and their use becomes even more perilous when taken with alcohol or, indeed, other substances. Anyone who feels ill as a result of taking any substances should seek medical assistance immediately and others should stay with the person who is unwell until help arrives.

“The use of Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) and Amyl Nitrate (poppers) are also banned and will be treated the same as New Psychoactive Substances Any person found with these will be asked to surrender them, and if they refuse, they may be banned from the site.

“Drugs will not be tolerated at the festival and anyone caught in possession of drugs or dealing drugs will be arrested. Police Scotland’s specialist drugs dogs will also be operating at Electric Fields.

“If you have information regarding drug misuse or dealing then please call Police Scotland on 101, or pass information anonymously via the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

“It’s common for people to relax and have a drink, but too much alcohol combined with what we hope will be a sunny weekend can pose real difficulties. Excessive alcohol consumption is a factor in crimes of disorder and violence. Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids – water - to avoid getting dehydrated, eat regularly and slow your pace when drinking alcohol.”

The event organisers and their partners, including Police Scotland, offer the following Top Ten Tips to Electric Fields attendees -

1) Before setting out on your journey, plan ahead and leave in plenty of time. Check http://trafficscotland.org before setting off for advance advice.

2) The festival medical team is onsite 24/7 to support the audience and the event, but no one wants to miss their favourite band due to a trip to first aid. Remember to pack any medication you will need over the weekend, including prescriptions, inhalers and diabetic medicines. Take heed of Scotland’s changeable weather. Take time to look at the weather forecast for the weekend and bring appropriate clothing and footwear and also sunscreen.

3) Refuel, Rehydrate and Relax – It’s a long weekend so remember to pace yourself and take some time out to eat and drink – remind friends and relatives that eating isn’t cheating and makes you last longer! Alcohol can dehydrate you so remember to make use of the free water points around the site. There is also plenty of food to choose from for your meals. To avoid the perils of stomach bugs make sure you wash your hands frequently or use the hand sanitizers throughout the site.

4) Anyone caught in possession of illegal substances will be dealt with in the same way as anywhere else in Scotland.

5) ‘Legal, or herbal highs’ are not permitted onsite at Electric Fields. Selling these substances is illegal and anyone found with these substances in their possession will have them immediately confiscated. It is important that music fans understand that ‘legal’ does not mean ‘safe’ and that these substances can cause serious harm especially when mixed with others such as alcohol. The terms “legal high” and “herbal high” are often misleading as many of these substances are not meant for human consumption.

6) Look after the festival site and each other - please put rubbish in the bins provided, take your tent home and be a good neighbour.

7) Always report any incident no matter how big or small, to security or police, they are there to help. By reporting incidents you can help prevent further crime or a situation from getting worse. If you can’t contact a police officer or steward in person, you can call 999 in an emergency, 101 in a non-emergency. If you want to pass CONFIDENTIAL information ANONYMOUSLY dial CRIMESTOPPERS on 0800 555 111.

8) Local residents – the local community is extremely supportive of Electric Fields. Please show them respect when travelling to and from the event.

9) Only bring essential items, and don’t leave anything of value in your tent.

10) Wristbands – you need your wristband at all times. Checks will be in place all weekend and if you can’t present a valid wristband, this could result in you being asked to leave the event. Please keep them safe.

You can follow Electric Fields on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/electricfieldsfestival

Police Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway Division will also be updating its own official social media channels with relevant news and information – Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DumfriesGallowayPoliceDivision/

Graeme Wellburn

25.08.16