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Organisers of We Are FSTVL stopped in their tracks with plans to expand this summer

PUBLISHED: 09:32 24 February 2017 | UPDATED: 09:32 24 February 2017

We are FSTVL 2015

We are FSTVL 2015

Archant

Plans to expand a popular dance festival have been shunned after “serious concerns” were raised about drug use and crime levels.

Organisers had applied to allocate 5,000 more people at this year’s We Are FSTVL in Upminster but this has been capped to last year’s ticket allocation of 24,999.

An additional campsite for 5,000 festival-goers has been allowed for the first time after organisers originally applied for it to hold 9,000.

On Monday, Havering Council’s Sub-Committee approved the plans with 28 attached conditions.

Last week, councillors heard concerns raised by the police and council officers about the prevalence of crime and use of drugs.

In a report filed to the council, Havering Police objected expansion plans because of the “obvious use of drugs” during last summer’s event.

Plain-clothed officers were said to only take 10 minutes on site before coming across the use of drugs.

Nitrous oxide substances were described as being “freely available”.

In a bid to crackdown on drugs being brought this year, the festival is required to search every person, piece of equipment and vehicle entering the grounds.

Drug detection dogs will also need to be deployed at all entry points in consultation with the police.

Furthermore, CCTV will need to be installed at all points of entry, event tents and bars.

Concerns around underage drinking at last year’s event will be addressed by identification scanning equipment being used for anyone who appears to be under the age of 25.

The applicant may appeal to the magistrates’ court within 21 days of Monday’s decision.

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