Electric Picnic drug crime spike confirmed in official figures

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

electric picnic

Gardaí on duty at the Electric Picnic.

Official figures reveal a spike in the incidence of drug offences at the 2018 edition of the Electric Picnic.

Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures confirm a rise drug crime recorded by the Garda Division which policies the event coincides with its staging in Stradbally over the first weekend of September.

A total of 489 cases of possession of drugs for personal use were recorded by the Laois Offaly Garda Division in quarter three of 2018. This was up just over 100 on the previous year.

Picnic cases made up more than two-thirds of the 745 detections of possession for personal use in Laois and Offaly last year. The rise over the two years accounted for a nearly 30% increase in the number of these type of offences between 2017 and 2018.  

Cases of possession of drugs for sale or supply also goes up at Picnic time. There was also a notable increase last year.  A total of 83 such cases were recorded in quarter three of last year. There was also a jump on the previous year when 65 cases were recorded.

Possession with intent to supply cases at the time of the festival accounted for nearly 40% of the annual total in Laois Offaly. Picnic cases also accounted for a significant portion of a 25% rise in the number of these offences between the two years.

All drug-related crime is recorded under a Controlled Drug Offences category for statistical purposes. Nearly 1,000 offences were recorded in 2018 of which 579 were detected in quarter three.

The total for 2017 was 793 of which 460 coincided with the holding of the Stradbally festival which is attended by more than 50,000 over three days.