By Morten Skov Madsen
A Facebook page that reports where the police is working at Roskilde Festival is experiencing growing pains. However, the police does not believe this page affects their work.
A plainclothes police officer patrolled area P yesterday morning, wearing a black jacket and dark brown shorts. A little later, three uniformed officers went for a stroll in G. And half an hour later, two officers patrolled by the South entrance.
At least according to some of yesterday’s updates on a Facebook page that talks about the police’s whereabouts on Roskilde Festival, using text and writing. The page would not function without tips from festivalgoers. As it turns out, the two men behind the page are not at Roskilde Festival, but in Copenhagen.
We think people should be allowed to smoke a joint. The legislation is put together in a grotesque way
“We get the tips from festivalgoers. We have been going really strong the last couple of days. We easily get ten tips – often more – in one day, from lots of different people. And we frequently get three tips about the same group of officers,” says Benjamin, an electrician from Copenhagen who is behind the page together with a friend.
They created the page before last year’s Roskilde Festival. 4,363 people ‘like’ the page at the time of writing. Around 550 of them have joined in the last month. According to Benjamin, the purpose of the page is “to allow people the time to hide their cannabis or move to a place where they can smoke undisturbed”. Additionally, he thinks the page helps document how many resources the police use to chase down drugs.
“Our focus is on cannabis. We think people should be allowed to smoke a joint. The legislation is put together in a grotesque way,” says Benjamin who also runs a different Facebook page that uncovers police in and around the Freetown Christiania in Copenhagen, based on the same concept.
“He acknowledges that people who sell or use hard drugs or have other sinister plans can benefit from the updates on the page. But you cannot avoid that,” says Benjamin.
Police work not affected
In yesterday’s Orange Press, the Mid and West Zealand Police Department made it clear that there is zero tolerance for drugs at Roskilde Festival. However, the police takes the page in stride. Director of Communications Carsten Andersen says that he does not spot anything illegal about the page’s activities, and that he does not believe it affects the work of the police.
“But we don’t think it’s a good idea. We are at the festival to solve crimes and prevent people from doing drugs,” he adds.
Benjamin wishes to only have his first name in the article, but the editors know his full identity. Orange Press has elected not to write the name of the Facebook page.