Monday 21 January 2019

150 drug seizures and 10 held for thefts at Picnic

Gardai made 150 drug seizures at Electric Picnic over the weekend.

Undercover gardai were seen stopping revellers and searching them for drugs as part of the festival's security operation.

Separately, 10 people were arrested for theft at the last major event of the summer which attracted a 41,000 strong crowd.

One man told the Herald that his wallet and phone had been stolen from his tent as he slept.

"I think someone must have followed me back to my tent when they saw I was alone. When I woke up my phone and cash was gone and my wallet was open at my feet," he said.

"They must have opened my tent while I was asleep and taken them.

"It was disappointing because it meant I had no way of contacting my friends if I got separated from them and I had to borrow money as well," he added.

He also told the Herald that there appeared to have been a large amount of thefts over the weekend.

"When I went to report that my things had been stolen, the queue was longer than the one for the ATM; it was at least 100 people deep at that stage."

Festival organiser Melvin Benn told the Herald that the number of thefts was worrying but that they were inevitable at a festival the size of Electric Picnic.

"Between the security teams and the guards, they've managed to catch a number of people that have been involved in thefts," he said.

"They've also been successful in retrieving a large amount of things that had been stolen.

"There will always be vagabonds, of course; our job is to do our best to stop it and if it has happened to do our best to catch the people involved."

"We've succeed in doing that in a number of cases this weekend," he added.

The only major incident occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning when a tent caught fire.

It is understood that a man and a woman, both in their late 30s, went to sleep with a number of candles lit in the tent and a sleeping bag caught fire as a result.

A heroic couple who were camping nearby heard their screams and rushed to pull them out of the burning tent.

The pair were transported to Portlaoise General hospital for treatment before being transferred to St James' Hospital in Dublin where they were treated for burn injuries.


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