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Police became security guards at music festival

PENTICTON, B.C. — Mounties are criticizing the organizers of a summer music festival near Penticton, B.C., saying police were forced to step in as security guards for a company that failed to do its job.


September 11, 2014
By The Canadian Press

Instead of policing the three-day Boonstock Music Festival, RCMP Supt. Kevin Hewco says officers took on the extra role to keep people safe.

Hewco says that meant more officers were needed at last month’s event, which ended up costing police $250,000 — $50,000 more than the original estimate.

He says the festival promoter should reimburse the province for the extra cost so taxpayers won’t have to pay it.

Police dealt with 150 cases, including 38 arrests, at the festival where a 23-year-old Alberta woman died from a suspected overdose, though the B.C. Coroners’ Service has not confirmed the cause of death.

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Hewco says he believes the festival was unsuccessful particularly because of the death, though the lack of a liquor licence was likely a mitigating factor.


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