Police warn on bad batch of pills

One of the pills confiscated: White Batman.
One of the pills confiscated: White Batman.

Officers have yearly issues with drug use at festivals, including the Future Music Festival, which is being held at Arena Joondalup on March 2.

The warning comes as police investigate the high number of drug-related hospital admissions on New Year’s Eve.

The investigation is yet to provide any solid answers, leading to police concerns that an unidentified batch of bad pills could still be circulating.

More than 20 people were hospitalised with drug-related issues during New Year celebrations.

This included a young woman who died in Bunbury.

Police said the ‘alarming spike in hospital admissions’ prompted an immediate investigation into the drugs the victims had taken.

Officers could not identify all the substances used by those hospitalised, but found there was a consistent reference to certain pills.

These included white and blue pills featuring the Batman insignia, blank sandy-coloured pills, cookies ‘n’ cream speckled pills and blank light blue pills.

While tests to date had not provided an explanation for the hospitalisations, police said the results had highlighted the varying purity of drugs passed off as ecstasy.

Ecstasy is supposed to contain euphoria-inducing MDMA, but many tests revealed a variety of dangerous substances in place of it. One pill was simply a caffeine tablet.

Serious and Organised Crime Division Inspector Chris Adams said the New Year’s Eve incidents had heightened police concerns around Perth party pill use. ‘No illicit drugs are safe to use, and what we saw on the streets over New Year’s Eve has us even more concerned,’ he said.

‘Even if word gets around on the streets that a drug is ‘safe’ to use, you can never be sure that the drug you are buying is not a copy.’

He advised anyone in possession of pills purchased in the lead-up to New Year celebrations to dispose of them.