Glastonbury 2014: Man in life-threatening condition after taking ketamine

Police warn of dangers of illegal drugs but crime is down 50% on this point last year

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The Independent Online

A 26-year-old man is fighting for his life after taking ketamine at Glastonbury, police have said.

According to Avon and Somerset Police the man, from the south-west of England, is currently in a “life-threatening condition” at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. Police added that crime at the four-day event is down 50 per cent compared to this stage last year, with just 12 arrests so far.

The warning came after a report that a 67-year-old woman died of natural causes at the festival on Wednesday evening.

Crime may be down but Avon and Somerset Police are still running a large scale operation with 225 officers on site 24 hours a day.

The officers are highly visible on the 1,200 acre site, with many barns at Worthy Farm converted into a makeshift police station, including interview rooms and holding cells. Other police are patrolling the site by bike and on horseback

Inspector Liz Hughes said: “Today is usually the busiest crime day of the festival as people come on to the site with all their cash.

"We've had fewer reports of mobile phones being stolen this year but an increase in cash being taken so we would advise people not to leave it in their tents."

Many Glastonbury-goers took advantage of early good weather to arrive on the site early on Wednesday and Thursday prior to the first music acts on Thursday night. Heavy rain and thunderstorms are expected on the site on Friday and Saturday, but police estimate that between 90,000 to 100,000 arrived on Wednesday, with thousands more flocking through the gates to the site on Thursday afternoon.

Lisa Parker, 22, attending the festival for the first time, said: “We had been planning to drive down on Friday morning but the weather looked much better earlier in the week so we jumped in the car and drove down overnight on Wednesday.”

In February, the Government announced ketamine would be upgraded to a class B banned substance in an attempt to deter its increasing use following recommendations in December from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs that long-term use can cause serious bladder damage and, in extreme cases, require the organ’s removal.