South West Wales

Let Swansea Club MTV concert-goers take drugs - charity

Drug-testing kit
Image caption Music fans at July's Secret Garden Party in Cambridgeshire were able to have their drugs tested on site

A charity has said concert-goers should be allowed to take drugs, providing they have been tested for safety.

Ahead of Saturday's Club MTV concert at Singleton Park, Swansea, Drug Aid Cymru said you could "take it for granted" that some people would take drugs.

Ifor Glyn, from the charity, said: "Very often the danger is that someone takes drugs and they don't know what's in those drugs."

MTV said it operated a zero-tolerance policy on drugs and underage drinking.

Drug Aid Cymru said substances should be tested on site to make sure they are not harmful before being handed back to the user.

The call comes after dozens of young people attending an MTV concert in Londonderry were treated in hospital for assault or drug and alcohol-related conditions.

Image caption Critics argue open testing encourages people to take illegal drugs, but those in favour say people will always take drugs and this makes it safer

Mr Glyn said: "In festivals like this and bigger festivals like Glastonbury... Take it for granted that people will be taking drugs, so how are we going to react to that?

"Yes, discuss with everyone as they go in the problems with drugs. But in some festivals, what they do is they let people in... and give them the opportunity to have their drugs tested."

Mr Glyn said problems often arose when people unknowingly took a high-strength drug.

He added: "Very often the danger is that someone takes drugs and they don't know what's in those drugs. It can be much stronger, they can be things which cause more damage than expected.

"So it's important that you can give that information to people who are likely to take drugs."

An MTV spokesman said: "We are working with the City and Council of Swansea to co-produce Club MTV under license to ensure the safety of all music fans attending.

"The event organisers operate a zero-tolerance policy on drugs and underage alcohol consumption."

Swansea council said: "The safety and wellbeing of people in attendance at any of our events will always be of paramount importance."

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