You are now logged in. Forgot your password? Australia's war on drugs has led to the repulsive but perhaps inevitable spectacle of cops leering at the bodies of girls as young as
On its opening morning the counsel assisting the commission, Peggy Dwyer, told the hearing at least 30 strip-searches were conducted on minors at the festival. In NSW, officers must not conduct a strip-search outside a police station unless the urgency and seriousness of the situation requires it. In the case of minors, a parent or guardian must be present unless an immediate search is necessary to protect the person or prevent the destruction of evidence. But the inquiry heard only five of the 30 searches were conducted in the presence of a support person. In one case, the support person provided to a year-old girl was herself a minor; a year-old girl from the Red Frog charity. The use of strip search powers has been the focus of increasing scrutiny in NSW in recent months. Last month the state opposition called for a review of the legislation underpinning their use after Guardian Australia revealed police had strip-searched girls, including two year-olds in the past three years. On Monday a senior police officer who had worked on at least 20 music festivals said he believed the legislation was too vague on the question of what constituted serious and urgent circumstances. The inquiry also heard evidence that two State Emergency Services volunteers had been organised to act as independent adults for children being strip-searched at the festival.
A strip search is a practice of searching a person for weapons or other contraband suspected of being hidden on their body or inside their clothing, and not found by performing a frisk search , by requiring the person to remove some or all of his or her clothing. The search may involve an official performing an intimate person search and inspecting their personal effects and body cavities mouth, vagina, anus etc. A strip search is more intrusive than a frisk and requires legal authority. Regulations covering strip searches vary considerably, and may be mandatory in some situations or discretionary in others. In North America, civil lawsuits, as well as criminal code charges against strip searches have usually been successful when a person is strip searched by someone of the opposite sex, especially in cases where a woman has been strip searched by a male guard or guards. The more disputed legal cases have often involved the presence of people of the other gender during a strip search. Some of these cases have been less successful because of the legal technicality of who was actually performing the strip search, i. Another legal issue is that of blanket strip searches, such as in jails where detainees are routinely strip searched prior to conviction of a crime.
The New South Wales police performed strip-searches on more than girls in the last three years, including two year-olds. The revelations come as the NSW police watchdog revealed last week that it investigated six separate allegations of misuse of strip-search powers by police last year , and is likely to place the practice under increased scrutiny. The data, obtained by the Redfern Legal Centre, reveals that since there have been 3, strip-searches by police on women in NSW. Young women aged 25 and under accounted for almost half the searches, while the oldest woman strip-searched was 72 years old. Most shockingly, the data shows that two year-olds and eight year-olds have been strip-searched by police since Last month the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission held public hearings as part of its investigation into the allegedly illegal search of a year-old girl at the Splendour in the Grass festival. She was one of seven children who were strip-searched at the event. The search took place without a parent or guardian present, a potential breach of police powers.