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Eden was over policed – say organisers

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Eden was over policed - say organisers

EDEN Festival bosses have criticised ‘heavy handed’ policing of their event, which saw 70 people caught in possession of illegal drugs.

The festival, which took place at Raehills Meadows, near Moffat, attracted 8000 revellers from Thursday to Monday. And there was an increased policing presence this year, including more undercover cops.

But Eden founder and co-director Adam Curtis said: “We felt Police Scotland were conducting very heavy searches on the gate to justify the numbers deployed and I can only say it’s a credit to the festival go-ers attending that this didn’t result in a backlash.

“The uniformed officers in the arena were friendly and approachable, however we have received many complaints regarding the large amount of undercover police who were approaching the crowd asking for illegal substances.

“This has put some families and festival go-ers off what has always been a friendly and laid back event.”

He added: “There have been a few incidents involving over stringent strip searching, police cars conducting searches on the main road prior to the amnesty bins and gate searches and a couple being paraded slowly through the main arena in handcuffs which caused unnecessary unrest and stress amongst festival attendees.”

The committee will meet with the police to discuss their concerns and Adam said: “We are addressing these issues with Police Scotland for next year’s event and hope we can return to the sensible festival friendly style of policing we have enjoyed in previous years.”

Meanwhile, Police Scotland said most of those attending were well behaved.

However, on the first day 28 people were caught with illegal drugs and by the end of the festival this had risen to 70.

In addition, there were several minor public order and nuisance offences over the weekend.

Chief Superintendent Gary Ritchie, said: “Police worked closely with partners and other emergency services to ensure that the festival was a safe environment for everybody attending.

“As a result of the policing operation 70 people were found in possession of illegal drugs and will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal and five people will be reported for drugs supply offences.

The main drug seized was cannabis and herbal cannabis.”

He added: “Over the weekend a number of thefts from tents were reported to the police, and in total the value of items stolen including cash is well over £1000.”

 

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