Bestival organisers issue statement on drugs policy

Bestival organisers issue statement on drugs policy

Bestival has issued a statement on its drugs policy following the death of a woman at last weekend's event. 

The woman has been named by her family as 25-year-old Louella Eve Fletcher-Michie, from London.

A 28-year-old man, who was known to Louella, was arrested on suspicion of murder and supply of a controlled class A drug. He has now been released under investigation.

Bestival organisers said they were "devastated" by the "tragic news" and have now issued the following statement: "Bestival has a zero tolerance drugs policy. We are very clear in the guidelines set out to both fans and staff about the procedures we have in place, as agreed with key stakeholders involved in the running of the event, including Dorset Police.

"Bestival works very closely with our security contractor and the Dorset Police to deliver a safe event for music fans. Security resources, responsibilities and deployments are agreed with the police and safety advisory group in advance of the event and are commensurate with the size of the event and the event’s security risk assessment.

"It is important that we do not speculate while the matter remains under investigation but as we await the outcome of that process it is important to note that reported crime at this year’s event is currently over 50 per cent lower than previous events.

"Festivalgoers entering Bestival are subject to searches by trained security staff. Bestival also employs specialist passive drugs dogs that operate at all entrances to provide a visible and working deterrent to stop people bringing illegal drugs into the event. The search operation is well resourced and takes place in full view of the police as part of the event’s agreed security and crowd management plan."

"Any persons who have been deemed to have failed or who have refused to be searched are not permitted into the venue.

"Any persons who fail a search with quantities of illegal drugs that are deemed to be for the purpose of supply, are detained and handed to the police operating at the search areas on site. At that point the failed search becomes part of a police investigation to which we offer our full support.

"Bestival has operated successfully for many years and we pride ourselves on our excellent relationships with current and former partners such as Dorset and Hampshire Police forces. Bestival is viewed as a low crime event within the wider industry that attracts a fun, creative and respectful audience.

“The tragic incident, which took place in what police describe as a 'wooded area on the edge of the festival site', and not as some reports have indicated in the ‘Ambient Forest’ arena, has devastated all those involved and the event has offered counselling to all staff.”

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