Substances warning ahead of summer festivals

Police and health chiefs have joined forces to warn young festival goers against taking substances at big events across North Wales this summer.

It follows the deaths of two people who took drugs at the Mutiny Festival near Portsmouth, which was cancelled after one day. Four men and a woman were arrested and bailed in connection with the deaths of Georgia Jones and Tommy Cowan.

The warning from North Wales Police and the Betsi Cadwaladr health board comes as an electronic music festival began on Thursday in Llanfaethlu, near Holyhead.

Anglesey’s Chief Inspector, Mark Armstrong, is overseeing the police operation at the four-day Gottwood event on the grounds of the Carreglwyd estate. Organisers say they do not condone the use of possession of illegal substances and anyone caught will be refused entry and handed over to police.

The Chief Inspector said: ”In recent weeks, we have sadly seen across the UK the terrible consequences that can occur when young people take substances and alcohol at music festivals. In recent years, we’ve also witnessed locally the devastating effect the loss, and very near loss of young lives, can have on families and whole communities.”

”Where supply of controlled drugs offences are identified we will take a robust stance against those involved and as seen by recent convictions in Caernarfon the offenders will go to prison. However, more important, is the need to warn young people of the inherent dangers of taking controlled drugs and I would strongly urge those who supply or use any illegal substance to think hard about what they are doing and the awful potential consequences and to stop immediately.”

”The last thing medical staff or Police Officers want to do is to pass onto family members the terrible and devastating news of a young person’s death. We all want to enjoy the summer but the emphasis must to on doing so safely so we can do so again. We will continue to work with our partners to highlight the dangers of drug abuse and under Operation Scorpion we actively target those concerned in the supply of controlled drugs.”

An A&E consultant at Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor said it was ”simply not worth the risk” to take illegal substances.

Dr Rob Perry said: ”Over the last few years we’ve seen an increase in the number of people ending up in our care after becoming seriously ill as a result of taking psychoactive substances. You cannot know what these substances contain and they can be deadly. If you saw the impact they can have, you’d think twice.”

This weekend also sees the climax of Gŵyl Cefni in Llangefni, which is celebrating its 18th anniversary.

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