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NSW Police taken to court over use of sniffer dogs at music festival

This weekend, British electronic trio Above & Beyond will be performing at the Sydney Showgrounds, and security is tight. And obnoxious.

So tight and obnoxious, in fact, that the NSW Police have made a statement online about their drug-sniffing K-9s.

Basically, if you’ve been around drugs or touched them and the K-9 detects this — even if there are no actual drugs on you — you will be denied entry to this music festival.

“Police are warning patrons attending the ‘Above and Beyond’ music festival at Sydney this weekend that drug detection dogs will be at the venue,” the statement on Facebook reads.

“Police warn that drug detection dogs will patrol the venue and can detect the presence of prohibited drugs or someone who has recently had drugs on them. If a dog makes an indication you will be denied entry.

“Police will exclude any person from the venue that the drug dog indicates has or who has recently had drugs on them, regardless of whether drugs are located.

“Quite simply, if you handle or use drugs you will not be permitted to remain at the venue”.

Police are warning patrons attending the ‘Above and Beyond’ music festival at Sydney this weekend that drug detection…

Posted by NSW Police Force on Tuesday, 5 June 2018


This has caused an uproar on social media because, you know, it violates the rights of young people and because it’s been proven that dog sniffers are actually more often wrong than right in their drug searches (sorry, doggos, but it’s true).

In fact, the accuracy of police sniffer dogs has been called into question recently, over a large number of false positives.

In 2014, the NSW Police Force conducted 14,593 searches on people after a positive indication from a K-9. Of those searches, 74% turned up with nothing, absolutely nothing!

Nice one, dogs. I thought we were best friends.

But, here’s the good news!

The Greens’ David Shoebridge, in conjunction with Sniff Off, are not putting up with this offensive abuse of power.

This week they created a fundraising campaign on Chuffed.org to raise money to take the NSW Police to court.

“It’s hard to see how this kind of action by police could be legal, seeing how it involves punishment in the absence of any offence”, Shoebridge says.

“Drug dogs get it wrong up to 75% of the time. This is nothing more than the NSW Police punishing young people for the abject failure of their drug dog programme.

“Many ticket holders have contacted Sniff Off and my office deeply concerned that the police will unlawfully steal their tickets after a false positive from a drug dog”.

They needed to raise $900 from supporters to get started. At the time of publishing, the campaign has raised more than $5,300. And it’s been confirmed (see below) that the NSW Police will be taken to court today.

We’ll keep you updated when we hear more.

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Comments (1)


    Saturday 9 June 2018

    I worked in law enforcement, and what is even more offensive to me is the fact that the media helps the police cover up police abuse, torture, and even killing, of their K9’s behind the scenes. Whenever we get any word about how the dogs are “trained” or treated, it is always propaganda saying the dog is a beloved “partner.”
    And the department heads and handlers are damned good at lying about it, too.