Shannen Findlay

Legal

War on drugs: NSW cop’s radical plan to shut down music festivals

War on drugs: NSW cop’s radical plan to shut down music festivals

A senior official has told a NSW inquest that police should have the power to shut music festivals down if necessary. 

Detective Chief Inspector Gus Viera is no fan of music festivals and believe authorities should have the ability to stop an event early when the safety of the public is at risk. 

The officer told the NSW Coroners Court festivals should be restricted to a maximum of eight hours per day, as “marathon” 12-hour events give young people too much time to overheat and ingest illegal drugs. 

"It's all bad," he told the inquest into MDMA-related deaths at music festivals, reported Yahoo News. 

"As a father of two daughters, I wouldn't let them go. So no, I'm not a fan at all."

Det Chief Insp Viera was the police commander at the 10-hour dance party Knockout Circuz in December 2017 when Sydney man Nathan Tran died after swallowing MDMA capsules. 

After Mr Tran arrived at the medical tent at approximately 10:30 pm, the medical provider for the event said they were incapable of treating further “walk-ups” (possibly meaning drug overdoses), the detective said. 

The senior officer said he also wanted events to be forced to have light hallways and other areas between stages to assist people at the festival who are sick.

"Police and roaming ambulance personnel can't identify anyone who is in trouble," he said.

"It's impossible to see if anyone is unconscious."