Police have praised the behaviour of revellers at a major music event at the weekend.

More than 17,500 people attended the two-day Splendour in the Grass Festival at Belongil Fields, just outside Byron Bay.

Tweed/Byron Local Area Command launched an operation targeting anti-social and criminal behaviour to ensure the safety and security of the event; however, despite the large influx of visitors to the town, officers detected a relatively small number of offences.

“Police have worked hand in glove with event organisers to ensure festival-goers could have a good time in a safe and secure environment,” Inspector Owen King said.

“The operation we conducted is not dissimilar to those carried out at other major sporting or cultural events and, in this instance, police have been impressed by the generally good behaviour of revellers.”

Specialist resources, including the Operational Support Group and Target Action Group, were brought in to support local police across the weekend.

Police also used drug detection dogs during the festival to prevent illegal substances being taken into the venue.

“A number of people were caught in possession of drugs such as ecstasy, while others were issued cannabis cautions, but by and large those in attendance did the right thing,” Inspector King said.

During the event, police charged seven people with supplying prohibited drugs, 71 with other offences and issued 73 cannabis cautions.

A quantity of drugs, including ecstasy and cannabis, was also seized.

Those charged will appear in Byron Bay Local Court on 29 August 2008.

“The action taken by police was successful in preventing a large quantity of drugs being taken into the festival, therefore ensuring the safety of revellers,” Insp King said.

“Last year, 31 ambulances were required to transport patients to hospital for drug and alcohol intoxication.

“This year only three ambulances were required, two of them to treat people for alcohol abuse and the other to treat a reveller with a fractured leg.”

Meanwhile, police conducted 1971 random breath tests on local roads across the weekend — 34 motorists were charged with drink-driving offences; 300 roadside drug tests were conducted resulting in nine motorists being charged with drug-driving offences.