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Festivals and Drug Offences

Festivals and Drug Offences

Having burst onto the Festival scene 20 years ago at the old Liverpool airport site our local Cheshire festival has grown into one of the biggest weekends in the festival calendar. The Festival attracts over 70,000 festival goers over the weekend event from all over the country.

As with every festival, Creamfields has had its problems with controlled drugs despite the positive work done by the festival management. In 2019 police made 51 arrests at Creamfields while another 140 were evicted from the site for ‘unacceptable behaviour’  according to information released to the local media.

This marked a change in tactic from Cheshire Police. In recent years the weekend would routinely see defence solicitors attending at the custody facility at Runcorn and Middlewich for a solid 72 hours. The grassed area outside the facility became a mini Creamfields with recently released people waiting for lifts home having had their drugs, money, tickets and phone seized by police.

In 2018 Cheshire Police adopted different tactics which freed up the custody facility and interview teams. People were simply invited to a) take part in an interview at the site or b) leave the site and attend at a local Cheshire Police station at a later date for a voluntary interview.

For someone suspected of possession or supplying Class A drugs, option A is extremely risky option. Many people mistakenly believe that Supply means sell. This is not correct and lands a lot of festival goers in trouble. Taking drugs in to the festival to share with your friends is likely to be considered supply even if you were not to receive  any financial reward. Section 5(3) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 makes it an offence for a person to have a controlled drug in his possession, whether lawfully or not, with intent to supply it to another in contravention. There is no distinction between supply and sell. People will often believe that they have done little wrong by just ‘holding’ drugs for their friends.

At Levins we have significant experience of dealing with these cases. We have found that often the most vulnerable young people are those who are arrested for these types of offences. If you know you are going to be interviewed for these offences please take one piece of advice DON’T GO IT ALONE. We are free and offer independent legal advice as and when you need it. Please see our article on voluntary attendances at the police station. If you need assistance please call 0151 480 5777.

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