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Rainbow rap sheet shame: Two sex assaults, 16 drug-drivers amid shocking stats

There’s been a big increase in drug arrests at the Rainbow Serpent festival at Lexton, prompting calls for the event to be shut down.

Two sexual assaults and 54 drug possession cautions were among the myriad incidents police dealt with over the four days of the festival.


  • FOUR assaults (two sexual)
  • TEN arrested for drug trafficer
  • SIXTEEN positive drug-driving tests
  • FIFTY-FOUR cautions or diversions for drug possession
  • THREE related vehicle incidents, including a fatal crash on the Western Highway that killed a teenage girl

Several revellers were taken to hospital for suspected drug overdoses and at least one remains in a critical condition.

The results have prompted calls for the even to be shut down, but Neil Mitchell said that was unlikely.

“I don’t think you can close them down,” he said.

“But if you’re’ going to charge people when there’s a demonstration when they’re giving a speech, it’s reasonable to charge the organizers of the festival for police turning up.”

As it stands, the organisers will only foot part — not all — of the costs of policing the festival.

Victoria Police Superintendent Jenny Wilson said Rainbow Serpent has a cultural problem.

“There’s obviously a culture there that’s allowed (drug use) to become quite open, and that’s probably why we’ve got the results we have, which shows quite a dramatic increase on the years before,” she told Neil Mitchell.

Click PLAY to hear Neil Mitchell’s full interview with police