Essex: V Festival-goers warned against using legal highs at Chelmsford event

V Festival 2012.

V Festival 2012. - Credit: � Steve George

Revellers at two Essex festivals are being warned of a zero-tolerance approach to legal highs and laughing gas.

A joint warning has been issued by Essex county and Chelmsford city councils, Trading Standards and Essex Police ahead of Brownstock and V Festival.

Agencies are stepping up checks and patrols following the death of a festival-goer at last year’s Brownstock, held in Stow Maries.

The aim is to stop people selling legal highs or laughing gas, and anyone caught with the substances will be ejected from the festival and their drugs confiscated.

Roger Walters, county councillor for Trading Standards, said: “So-called legal highs are extremely dangerous because there is nothing to regulate what they are made from. Some contain illegal drugs or can lead to serious medical emergencies and even death.

“I want festival-goers to have fun but not to take a risk with either so called legal highs or nitrous oxide which can also result in serious side effects, especially when combined with alcohol.”

Donna Martin, substance misuse trainer for the Drug and Alcohol Partnership, added: “Just because something says it is legal doesn’t mean it is safe.

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“Good information, advice and education is key in order for communities of Essex to make healthy and informed choices.

“I strongly urge festival-goers this summer to take the advice that legal highs could at best ruin your festival experience and at worst be fatal to you or your friends.”

The terms and conditions of both festivals state legal highs, the popular name for new psychoactive substances, are banned and anyone supplying them will be ejected.

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