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Police to take hard line with drugs at concert

Police in north Belfast are liaising closely with the organisers and key stakeholders in preparation for the forthcoming Fat Boy Slim Concert, due to take place at Giant’s Park, Fortwilliam on Saturday, May 8.

The event is expected to open at 3pm and close at 1am on Sunday.

A large crowd is expected to attend the event and police want them to have a great, enjoyable time, but do so in a safe and responsible manner. Officers will be present at the event for its duration and will deal robustly with anybody found to be engaging in illegal activity.

In particular, concert-goers should note that this will be a drugs-free event.

Police and event security staff are committed to working together closely to make sure that no illegal drugs will be brought into the venue.

Consent to being searched by event security staff will be a precondition of entry. Anybody found carrying an illegal substance will be dealt with by the police and may be expelled from the concert immediately and will forfeit their ticket.

Equally, alcohol may not be brought into the venue. It will be available for purchase at the event, although ID will be checked and no alcohol will be sold to anybody under 18.

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It is also worth noting that the area surrounding Giant’s Park is a no-on-street-drinking zone which will be strictly enforced by police.

The police commander for the area, Chief Inspector Ian Campbell appealed to concert-goers to be smart and not take a chance by bringing alcohol and drugs into the venue.

“I want everybody to have a fantastic time and enjoy this wonderful event to the full. So don’t spoil it for yourself and your friends by trying to smuggle in alcohol and drugs. You can freely buy alcohol at the bar as long as you are over 18,” he said.

“As for drugs, police and the organisers are determined to keep them out of this event. If caught, you may well end up with a criminal record; this in turn could have a serious effect on your future by wrecking your job prospects or chances to get a visa to travel to the US or elsewhere. So be smart — don’t bring drugs.”

C/I Campbell also appealed to concert-goers to keep safe when making their way home after the concert. “Make sure you have your journey home well planned. Use the buses supplied by the organisers or book a taxi. Stay with your friends and don’t attempt to walk back to the city centre by yourself,” he added.

Officers are keen that the event goes ahead with as little disruption to the community as possible. While not expecting major delays, there may be traffic disruptions in and around the Dargan Road/Dargan Crescent/Giant’s Park area between 3pm and 7pm on Saturday and concert-goers are advised to arrive early and avail of the public transport options laid on by the event organisers.

Motorists not travelling to the event are asked to avoid the area if possible. Those travelling to the Stena terminal are asked to allow a little bit of extra time for their journey. Diversions will be in place and clearly sign-posted.

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