Photo courtesy the Kootenay Boundary Regional RCMP: Const. Derek Hall displays some of the drugs seized at this year's Shambhala Music Rave.
Shambhala 2010 sees almost double the arrests/charges compared to 2009
Almost twice as many people were arrested and charged last weekend as there were in 2009 as they came to, or left from, the Shambhala Music Rave event.
“Charges are being pursued against 27 people (as compared to 14 in 2009).
Most those being charged are facing multiple counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking,” said RCMP Staff Sgt. Dan Seibel. “Only a handful of those arrested were local residents – the majority reside in other regions of B.C. and Alberta.”
He said a total of 101 drug seizures were made, including herion, hasish, mushrooms, ecstasy, LSD, marijuana, cocaine, heroine, methamphetamines, and more.
A total of 306 violation tickets were issued and there were 13 alcohol-related 24-hour suspensions, while 32 vehicles were towed from road safety checks.
Seibel said the event drew 10,000 attendees along with 1,000 volunteers, staff, entertainers and employees, to Salmo, which normally boasts a population of 1,200.
“A total of over 30 police officers worked in the days leading up to the start of the rave, during and following the event,” he said. “Salmo RCMP has a regular staff of four officers.”
He said there was a much stronger uniform presence this year, after the event was identified as requiring higher-than-normal levels of policing, with members being drawn from across the region from the Drug Canine Units, the Integrated Road Safety Unit, the Kootenay Boundary Regional RCMP detachment, and more.
“On Monday, Aug. 9, police resources were stretched to the limit responding to numerous crashes in and around Salmo and Creston,” he added, explaining many of the accidents were the result of party-goers leaving the festival tired, and succumbing to driver fatigue.
He said the coming days will see a debriefing in which the police, local authorities like city councils, and event organizers will evaluate the weekend to determine what went well and what could, or should, be done differently in 2011.
Seibel said he had also heard reports one concert-goer dumped something in the river on Monday in an attempt to change the colour of the water (unconfirmed reports indicate the desired hue was flourescent green), but says that sort of complaint falls more in the jurisdication of provincial and/or federal environmental agencies, who will engage RCMP assistance if criminal charges appear to be warranted.
The Shambhala Music Rave is an annual event held on a 200-acre private property off Highway 3 near Salmo. Seibel said police were welcomed on to the property and given a tour of the grounds by event security staff.
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