One-the-spot fines for drugs total €30,000 during Lowlands festival

The public prosecution department handed out on-the-spot fines totalling nearly €30,000 at last weekend’s Lowlands festival, officials said on Monday evening.

All but one fine was issued for drugs-related offences, officials said. In total, they dealt with 85 cases at the festival site itself. Four people face court appearances, 65 people were fined and one youngster was reported to the youth probation service Halt.

Police and security officials say the festival passed off peacefully and just five formal police complaints were made.

‘During Lowlands, we get a complete new town with 55,000 inhabitants to deal with for three days,’ local mayor Aat de Jonge said in a statement. ‘The fact so few complaints were made says something about the great atmosphere.’

Fast-track fines were introduced at Dutch festivals in 2014 but came in for considerable criticism because youngsters did not realise the consequences of agreeing to accept an instant fine, which gives them a criminal record.

Since 2015, people caught at festivals breaking drugs rules can have access to a lawyer before agreeing to pay a fine.

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