SMH REPORTS third of festival goers say fear of police deters help with drug emergencies

May 2022

Matt Noffs urges NSW police to reconsider their role at music festivals
All Media Room

A report in the Sydney Morning Herald, based on a study by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), states that one in three music festival attendees fear that getting in trouble with the police would deter them from seeking help in a drug-related emergency.

CEO of the Ted Noffs Foundation, Matt Noffs, has called for police to change the way they deal with drug use at music festivals.

The Ted Noffs Foundation was the driving force behind Australia’s first ever pill testing trial at the Groovin’ The Moo festival in Canberra in 2019. Of that experience, Noffs said, ‘When we trialled pill testing in the ACT, kids would walk up to police and ask them where the pill testing was.’

“In NSW, where you’ve got drug dogs and an overall more aggressive stance towards kids using drugs, of course you’re going to have kids not trusting the police, and that’s not what we want.’

He added that the NDARC study indicated that NSW needed to continue reconsidering the role of police in response to drug taking, noting that while recent reforms had helped reduce harm, now was the time to revisit debates about other harm-reduction measures, such as pill testing. 

Read the full article here:

Photo credit – Sydney Morning Herald Edwina Pickles