Past Times: 31 October 1995 | Canberra Times

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On this day in 1995, The Canberra Times reported on police concerns that party habits from other states were entering Canberra. The previous Friday, police had been told about a rave that was to take place over the weekend, and had struggled to figure out where the party was until the following day. Originally planned to be held in Sydney, the rave was instead held in Canberra due to the controversy in Sydney over the dangers of drug use at such events. While the Sydney police may have been happy that the event would not be held there, the relocation of the event in Canberra did nothing to appease the police in the capital. “Police will not tolerate promotions of this type being transferred from intergovernmental to the national capital,” said Superintendent Denis McDermott. These events could only be learned through word of mouth or flyers that gave a 0055 number that could be dialed on the day to find out the location and details. Although the organizers of the events had said they welcomed police involvement to prevent illegal drug use, McDermott still believed there was “something illegal about them” because of the secrecy of the events and the difficulty of finding them. However, there was not much the police could actually do about them, as Mr McDermott said: “It’s not illegal to run a venue without us catching … people dealing in drugs.” Simply suspecting illegal behavior would not be sufficient to allow police to shut down such events, so until the error was proven, the raves would continue. See: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/page/14745307

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