Sniffer Dogs At Parklife Music Festival Sydney, 2010 / Photo: Don Arnold/Getty Images

Greens Take On NSW Police With New Bill To Ban Sniffer Dogs & Strip Searches On Kids

The NSW Greens are ramping up their bid to get the government to fuck right off with their invasive strip searches and problematic sniffer dog policy, slapping a bill down on the state parliament’s table today that would trigger sweeping reforms.

Just days after startling revelations that 96 kids were strip-searched in NSW over the past year, Greens MLC David Shoebridge proposed amendments to the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act that would ban strip-searches on anyone under 16, and only permit minors aged 16 and 17 to be searched “in exceptional circumstances” (FYI right now, it’s perfectly legal for the cops to carry out invasive strip searches on kids as young as 10).

As well as a number of changes around the cops’ powers to strip-search minors, the Greens’ bill also aims to wind back other “oppressive police powers”, including the use of sniffer dogs.

“Even if you’re ok with monstering people, the basic fact is: drug dogs just don’t work,” Shoebridge told the Legislative Council today (via Pedestrian).

“You’re highly unlikely to catch organised crime gangs by strip searching teenagers at train stations and music festivals,” he added.

It comes as both police strip-search and sniffer dog tactics have come under intense scrutiny recently. A Coronial Inquest into drug-related deaths at NSW music festivals last year heard a Central Coast teen fatally overdosed after panic-swallowing three caps of MDMA out of fear of getting into trouble after she saw sniffer dogs, while a police inquest carried out by the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) recently found that four strip searches, conducted by NSW police on people under the age of 18 at festivals in 2018 and 2019, were “unlawful”.

The Greens’ bill will have its second reading on Monday. Stay tuned.

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