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Thursday, 22 June, 2000, 22:49 GMT 23:49 UK
Police in Glastonbury drugs purge
Glastonbury 1999
Revellers enjoy last year's Glastonbury festival
Police have arrested 57 people travelling to the Glastonbury festival for alleged drugs offences.

A day-long initiative, called Operation Purge, on the M5 was hailed as an "unrivalled success" by officers.

Gloucestershire police said they were surprised at the amount of drugs netted which included 500 ecstasy tablets and a quantity of amphetamines, cannabis and "magic mushrooms".

They stopped 80 cars and spoke to 211 people at the Michael Wood service station, 40 miles north of the festival site at Worthy Farm, Pilton, Somerset.


It clearly shows the amount of controlled substances travelling through the county

Chief Inspector Mike Barton
Fifty-one people were cautioned for possessing a controlled substance.

A further six people were taken to Stroud police station for questioning in connection with intent to supply a controlled substance.

Chief Inspector Mike Barton said it was the first time the police had undertaken an operation of this kind.

"It clearly shows the amount of controlled substances travelling through the county to this type of event," he said.

Bogus officials

"All those involved have been taken by surprise by the success of the operation and the quantity of drugs that have been seized."

But he said police had also been surprised by the number of unsafe vehicles festival-goers had been travelling in.

Three vehicles were issued with immediate prohibition notices and a further 30 were given tickets for other road traffic offences.

One person was also arrested for having an offensive weapon.

Thousands of revellers have been making their way to Glastonbury for the start of the annual music event which starts on Friday.

Among the groups performing at the festival are Travis, Fatboy Slim, The Chemical Brothers, the Pet Shop Boys and David Bowie and country star Willie Nelson.

Earlier some festival-goers were victims of conmen posing as bogus officials who persuaded them to hand over their 89 tickets.

"It's not a large number of people but obviously we're very keen to clamp down on it," a police spokeswoman said.

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21 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Police battle Glastonbury thieves
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