Bournemouth, an area known for high levels of illicit substance use, is set to see a large amount of illegal drug activity in the upcoming weeks due to music events.
Research from the Drug and Alcohol Governance Board for Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset reveals that there is an average of 40 drug related deaths over the course of a year, as well as 700 hospital admissions and over 1,500 crimes to linked to drug offences.
A research paper published by Bournemouth University showed that 63% of festival attendees were likely to take drugs, the main age range being 18 – 24 year olds.
Michael Browne, representative for drug advice service ADDaction states there has always been a link between illegal substances and certain events.
Festivals and music events are a prime location for substance abuse, with three men recently avoiding prison time after attempting to smuggle £9000 worth of laughing gas into Soundclash festival in Dorset, according to the B0urnemouth Echo.
The festival was known for its drum and bass, bassline and house, genres of music that appeals to drug users.
In the upcoming weeks there are many music events likely to attract these sort of crowds in Bournemouth, at venues including O2 Academy, Halo and The Old Fire Station.
When it comes to events Dorset police take steps to ensure all drug usage is monitored and controlled.
“If it is a particular music scene that’s related to drugs issues then obviously we are aware of that and then there are various different things we can do, from working with the clubs to officers in plain clothes to targeting dealers on the way to these venues.
“It’s all intelligence based, we have gathered that information and then we act proactively with it.”
Security teams at Bournemouth clubs are also prepared for events and illegal substance users that would attend. Stacey Carr, who has worked at several clubs including Halo, discussed the steps taken to manage the events.
“We keep a watchful eye on anyone who shows signs of drug misuse as we have no tolerance in clubs. Illegal substances can greatly affect the actions of a person and can easily cause harm to themselves or others.
“Security is always a top priority, for the club and for the goers, and so it is important as a security guard to be knowledgeable on the substances that are being taken to keep the club safe and responsible.
“No matter how many precautions we take, the inevitable always has a chance of happening. More staff, more drug searches and more toilet checks are always a good idea to ensure a smooth night.”
The statistics show that there are high levels of drug activity in not only Bournemouth but across Dorset. Steps are being taken from police, charities and other authorities to ensure the issue is controlled.