Secret Garden Party offers class A drug testing so festival goers know their content - and hands them back
A music festival has become the first in the UK to pioneer a service giving people the change to have their illegal drugs tested so they know their content before taking them.
Secret Garden Party launched the initiative by The Loop in agreement with police and the local council over the weekend.
The not-for-profit organisation, which traditionally conducts forensic testing of drugs seized by police, dropped in amnesty bins or handed to paramedics, tested around 80 substances at the festival.
Steve Rolles, senior policy analyst for Transform Drug Policy Foundation who negotiated with local authorities to make it possible, told the Guardian: "Around a quarter of people who brought in their drugs then asked us to dispose of them when they discovered that they had been mis-sold or were duds. We were taking dangerous substances out of circulation."
He added: "We hope this groundbreaking service becomes the norm for all such events. It is now up to others to follow, to protect the health and safety of their customers. In truth it would be negligent for them not to."
There are similar testing facilities in Germany and the Netherlands.