Chibo Mertineit, Lillian Rock
What is happening to the police in northern NSW? Are they losing it on the job? Or are the police only employing a certain type?
Before any wrong thoughts come up for the reader, I respect and know that it is a dangerous and thankless job. So Thank You to all the caring coppers out there.
But how can it be that police officers are being let loose in a festival setting without knowing the rules which guide strip-search operations?
The female police officer, who ordered at least nineteen of these humiliating procedures for young people at the 2018 Splendour in the Grass festival, didn’t even ask the sixteen-year-old girl for her age. And because the officer didn’t know, she searched without the presence of a parent, guardian or person of trust.
This reminds me of the case of the sixteen-year-old boy, who got beaten at least eighteen times by one officer in January 2018 in a side street in Byron Bay.
Finally, after twenty-one months, this officer will be on the second of December in Byron court.
But I digress, a few facts just released from ABC. Of the 143 strip searches conducted at Splendour in 2018, only 8.4 pre cent carried drugs. But wait, in the financial year 2018/19 the NSW police did 11533 drug searches, after a sniffer dog indicated it, and only 59 led to drug prosecution, less than 0.5 per cent. That’s the lowest rate in seven years. Maybe it is really time, even for NSW Gladys, to read the UN advice to stop charging people for drug possession and treat it as a health issue.