War on drugs has officially gone to the dogs

An unnamed senior constable has told the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) hearing into last year’s Splendour in the Grass debacle that he was just following the lead of a dog. That’s not a comedic exaggeration. He testified that he established “reasonable belief” based on what the sniffer dog indicated. Which means that reasonable belief in New South Wales is now determined by the only members of the state’s police force that go to work naked after a tin of Meaty Bites. Another female officer admitted to Chief Commissioner Michael Adams QC that she bungled the maths and simply ‘guesstimated’ the quantities of drugs found on patrons – in one case inflating the amount in an official statement of “facts” (for a magistrate) by eight times. In case you wondered, 92 percent of strip-searches at the festival found nothing. That’s because sniffer dogs are as reliable as the mail order X-Ray specs that used to be advertised in comic books.

Returning to human officers … One of them conducted 19 strip searches (discovering a single transgressor). A 16 year-old girl was illegally searched – that is admitted – but no illicit substances were found. She described her harrowing experience to the Commission:

She was told to go to the corner of a tent where a female police officer put on a pair of rubber gloves.

The officer first told her to take her denim jacket and denim shorts off and she was then told to take off her lace leotard.

BRC said while she thought she would be patted down, it soon became clear she would be strip-searched.

“At that point I realised I was going to have to get naked,” she said.

“I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. I could not stop crying. I was completely humiliated.”

The girl said she was told to take off her underwear and even lift up a pantyliner for the officer to inspect.

“She told me to squat on the ground. She then squatted down and looked underneath me.”

After finding nothing, she says the officer said: “OK that’s all good, now you can get dressed.”

The question is always asked so let’s get to it: ‘Mmm. That’s most unfortunate but if empowering police to strip citizens and search their naked bodies saves just one life, isn’t it worth it?’

The answer: no. It wouldn’t be worth it if they saved 500 lives. Or a thousand.

The more important question: will any of these police officers be charged with sexual assault or other crimes?

This entry was posted in civil society, Take Nanny down. Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to War on drugs has officially gone to the dogs

  1. Jock

    Terrible. Terrible. Currency lad is right. These kids should be allowed to do what they like. And when the festival is over parents should be rung up and told to pick up the bodies at the entrance to the event.

    Really why are we so squeamish and mushy about dead or injured kids?? They know the go. Why do we feel responsible?

  2. Big_Nambas

    Most of my life I have had sympathy for the police, always thinking that they had a hard job and we needed them to avoid anarchy. I no longer have that sympathy the police are their own worst enemies and get more and more like the gestapo every day.

  3. Ellie

    Thank you for this, CL.

    That poor girl. Absolutely disgraceful behaviour by police. Leave the attendees alone. If someone chooses to take an illicit substance, it’s their choice. Go and focus your resources where they’re needed, instead of intimidating young people trying to have a bit of fun

  4. Which means that reasonable belief in New South Wales is now determined by the only members of the state’s police force that go to work naked after a tin of Meaty Bites.

    You are killing it C.L.

    I hope you actually are at the bar or run for Parliament one day.

    Returning to human officers … One of them conducted 19 strip searches (discovering a single transgressor). A 16 year-old girl was illegally searched – that is admitted – but no illicit substances were found. She described her harrowing experience to the Commission:

    That is astonishing and shocking.

    Why we aren’t having civil unrest over the police sexually assaulting young women is mind blowing. If this doesn’t make you respect for the police you have no values other than a worship of “order”, whatever the hell that means.

    [Then compare the bloke in the UKL who got convicted for sexual assault for touching a girl virtually the same age…ON THE ARM, but he was a civilian].

  5. areff

    (Posted my mistake on the open thread):

    The longer I’m away from the US, the more I miss the place. The Fourth Amendment:

    “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

    We could do worse than adopt the First and Fourth. But, hey, this is Australia, where we do what we’re told, even if it means some rubber-gloved invert feeling up your 16-year-old daughter on the recommendation of a dog.

  6. areff

    Jock, if parents do their jobs properly, they won’t need to collect their kids’ corpses.

    What’s so hard about teaching your kids

    1/ Let everyone else take the pills/mushrooms/whatever first, and give then 30 minutes to see if they’re falling down dead.

    2/ Avoid pills and stick with pot. You’ll enjoy a better sort of music, won’t spend all night dehydrating and making pointlessly repetitive dance moves.

    Further parental counsel available on request.

  7. candy

    A hard job for a police officer to have to strip search, part of their duties though.

    The festivals attract drugs and druggies and authorities have to deal with it the best way they can and stop those stupid kids killing themselves.

  8. Roger

    What is the rate of success for sniffer dogs in such a context?

    I suspect it is very low, in which case police can’t argue that identification of a person by such a dog grants them reasonable suspicion, the legal ground upon which they can conduct a strip search.

  9. The festivals attract drugs and druggies and authorities have to deal with it the best way they can and stop those stupid kids killing themselves.

    They can deal with it by fucking right off and becoming productive members of society, you know, like being a farmer, a miner, a builder, a taxi driver, a script writer or a graphic designer perhaps.

  10. JohnJJJ

    “The festivals attract drugs and druggies…” More so, they are meant to. These festival organizers make money out of the drug culture. The music, lights and every other aspect of these events is enhancing drug use. They should be fined for any drugs are found on the site. They hire the site, they run the business, they are responsible.
    It would stop immediately with an enforced financial penalty. It is all about money.
    Jock is 100% right. This is the abnegation of responsibility by society for their young. The police are doing their job.
    It has zero to do with drug testing. It is just a fruphy so they can keep their drug/music festivals going.

  11. The music, lights and every other aspect of these events is enhancing drug use. They should be fined for any drugs are found on the site. They hire the site, they run the business, they are responsible.

    Straight out of the green’s playbook.

  12. Bruce of Newcastle

    Interesting equation.

    Do you let young people turn their brains to mush, or do you save them from their own mistakes?
    Do you force those young people to become criminals in order to turn their brains to mush, or do you save the rule of law by legally letting them do what they want to do?

    I favour legalization and intensive education of the effects ad nauseum throughout K-12 so that when they turn their brains to mush they will have no excuse.

    Also remove all drug-related medical expenses from Medicare.

  13. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    Bruce of Nobbys: interesting idea. If people who abuse drugs and so on are excluded from public health support we’d have a big budget saving. But how would you know if alcohol, tobacco, etc were definite causes?
    My idea is to legalise everything and put the public health costs of drugs etc into a tax on such product.

  14. Bruce of Newcastle

    The problem with the tax idea is it fails.

    The Ontario government lost $42M selling cannabis in the last year (19 Sep)

    “The Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation (OCRC) needed to make foundational investments to support Ontario’s approach to retail sales — which will see a broad network of private retail stores across the province established to effectively combat the illegal market,” Hogeveen added.

    Losing money selling pot is something only a government can manage.

    Marijuana tax windfall fails to materialize in California (10 May)

    A thriving underground cannabis market and slower than projected legal sales have caused California to slash the windfall of tax revenue it expected to reap after legalizing cannabis.

    So the problem with the tax, or government as the retailer, is that the black market can do it cheaper. They’re the last bastion of free market capitalism!

    We’re seeing the same with tobacco, as vaping and smuggling undercut the excise model. On the other hand detection is getting easier:

    ‘Game-changer’ breathalyzer test for marijuana is a billion times more sensitive than standard alcohol test and will tell cops if suspects are stoned (20 Oct)

    So you test ’em on entry into hospital and if the red light comes on you send them the bill. As a price signal that would be extremely effective.

  15. Bruce of Newcastle

    (And an apology to Elderly White Man From Skipton for lack of addressing you directly, since I don’t know what tag to call you by. “EWMFS” is a bit chunky!)

  16. stackja

    Withdraw all police and medical officers from these events.
    Parents are responsible for their children.

  17. Elderly White Man From Skipton
    #3192366, posted on October 24, 2019 at 11:05 am

    Bruce of Nobbys: interesting idea. If people who abuse drugs and so on are excluded from public health support we’d have a big budget saving. But how would you know if alcohol, tobacco, etc were definite causes?
    My idea is to legalise everything and put the public health costs of drugs etc into a tax on such product.

    That’s because you’re a bludging, socialist criminal.

  18. Whalehunt fun

    Nonsense. Some snivelling snowflake didn’t like getting searched. She needs is a short blunt rationality reset. What they should be doing is taking blood samples by force and any showing positive locked up for life. Either have a war on drugs or don’t. But do not play pretend. Go nuclear or don’t go

  19. Dr Fred Lenin

    Tax hell out of all party drugs like they do tobacco, make dealers pay a huge annual licence fee and massive import annd manufacturing duties . Make drug sales and use subject to Work Cover laws ,and crack down on smokers stubbing out smokes on the used sharps box .
    Its a typial politicians dogs breakfast ,copy Singapore ?

  20. Tator

    Having been the other side of the ledger and knowing how police train their dogs and how sensitive their sense of smell is. Data I have seen indicates that out of the high number of “false positives” a large number actually admit to previously handling drugs, this varies from state to state with NSW claiming in the 2006 Ombudsman’s report that their accuracy rate is 70% and Vicpol state that 85 to 90% of false positives admit to recently possessing drugs.
    Laboratory testing such as THIS indicates that dogs are incredibly sensitive in laboratory conditions.
    Now this leads to the issue where such “false positives” are merely down to the dogs detecting such a minute sample of drugs as their lower absolute odour detection threshold is around 1 part per trillion for organic plus they detect vapour coming from the drugs and not the drugs themselves.
    There are parallel issues with other forms of illicit drug detection like ION scans which pick up particles of illicit substances down to the pico and nano gram level. So it is an issue of sensitivity compare to the actual unreliability. Plus as the law states, it is a “reasonable” cause to suspect and that term “reasonable” is misunderstood by most non legally trained people as it is not what Joe Public considers “Reasonable” but is determined by a centuries old and tested legal definition of what is considered “reasonable”

  21. Kneel

    “Either have a war on drugs or don’t. But do not play pretend. Go nuclear or don’t go”

    I am sympathetic to the idea.
    However…
    It is societal attitudes to substance abuse/addiction that are screwed up and cause this “problem”.
    Consider:

    Addicted substance Attitude
    ——————————————————————————————–
    Alcohol “you are sick, it’s not your fault”
    Caffeine “don’t speak to him until he’s had at least 2 coffees!”
    Nicotine “filthy habit, you should give up”
    Heroin/ice/whatever else “scumbag druggie, get off my footpath!”

    Is it based on societal damage? No, alcohol causes the most issues here
    Is it based on personal harm? No, nicotine and alcohol, plus the “illegals” are worse
    Is it based on how addictive it is? No, nicotine is higher on that list than heroin, as is caffeine (if you think you “just like coffee” and are not addicted, try going without for 48 hours – that headache you get, the one behind your eyes and near the back of your neck, that’s your addiction causing that, which you can prove by having a coffee and waiting 20 mins for it to go away)

    Make them all legal, and tax ’em. Make it so high a penalty for black market supplying that the user will not go anywhere near it. Make them controlled, like alcohol or tobacco, but with ID required and maybe someone chases you if it looks like you are addicted – not to gaol you, but to offer medical and/or counseling services so you don’t become a problem.

    Like so much else, the issue is TOO MUCH GOVT REGULATION!
    The answer is NOT more of the same – we’ve had 50 years of prohibition, and the problem appears to be getting worse, not better. Time for a new approach.

  22. Percy Popinjay

    “At that point I realised I was going to have to get naked,” she said.

    Sweetie, just be thankful you weren’t at a labore yoof camp.

  23. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    Frank is on the tiles again!
    As a matter of fact, Frank, I have worked entirely in private employment for my whole life, have not ever – not once – had a pay cheque from taxpayers and have started businesses that employed hundreds of people. Now I am wondering whether you might in fact be the bludging leach? Or maybe just a bit drunk?

  24. Paridell

    Send the dogs to the dogs’ home. Equip the police with carts and have them chant “Bring out your dead!” throughout the orgy of intoxication, I mean concert. For Woodstock-scale events, have the local council supply Ottos for the bodies and they can be picked up by the recycling contractors.

  25. Frank

    “At that point I realised I was going to have to get naked,” she said.

    Isn’t that the whole point of going to festivals?

  26. Elderly White Man From Skipton
    #3192549, posted on October 24, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    Frank is on the tiles again!
    As a matter of fact, Frank, I have worked entirely in private employment for my whole life, have not ever – not once – had a pay cheque from taxpayers and have started businesses that employed hundreds of people. Now I am wondering whether you might in fact be the bludging leach? Or maybe just a bit drunk?

    Horseshit. Maybe in the same sense as the Obeids were “mining magnates”.

    You’re a bludging, socialist criminal.

    My idea is to legalise everything and put the public health costs of drugs etc into a tax on such product.

    All you want is OPM.

    Get fucked.

  27. Make them all legal, and tax ’em. Make it so high a penalty for black market supplying that the user will not go anywhere near it. Make them controlled, like alcohol or tobacco, but with ID required and maybe someone chases you if it looks like you are addicted – not to gaol you, but to offer medical and/or counseling services so you don’t become a problem.

    This might seem like a good idea to you but it is absolutely revolting to me, like a maggot blown carcass.

  28. NuThink

    Can they not make it a conditions of entry to the festival that they can be searched, just like it is a condition of getting onto a plane? In Toronto in Canada I recall seeing an ad saying that (paraphrased) “You have a right to not be searched. We have a right to not carry you”.
    Even some shops make a condition of entry that your bags may be searched.

  29. classical_hero

    areff, it’s not like children don’t disobey their parents.

  30. Tel

    Horseshit. Maybe in the same sense as the Obeids were “mining magnates”.

    You’re a bludging, socialist criminal.

    Unlikely that he is really from Skipton … can’t trust anyone these days.

  31. Rob MW

    I have heard what I thought was every excuse for governments to raise taxes and seize money, but this is one I quite honestly thought was something too low for even the police.

    New South Wales police have come up with the most bizarre excuse to rob your money I have ever heard of. They now claim that driver safety is the main reason for this new initiative to confiscate whatever coins you have in your car. They have the audacity to claim that “Loose coins within cars are a safety hazard.” (see Double Bay Today)

  32. Truth n Justice

    Let them do and take what they like at these drug festivals. Eventually the problem will solve itself!

  33. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    Frank: you need to get out more. Put the gin bottle down and go for a walk. It will help.

  34. PB

    “That’s most unfortunate but if empowering police to strip citizens and search their naked bodies saves just one life, isn’t it worth it?’”

    Something something children something….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.