Australia: NSW Police strip-searched shopkeepers at Splendour in the Grass as part of 'military-style' operation, inquiry hears - - PressFrom - Australia
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Australia NSW Police strip-searched shopkeepers at Splendour in the Grass as part of 'military-style' operation, inquiry hears

06:35  24 october  2019
06:35  24 october  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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  Festival deaths: 'Don't blame NSW cops' Police Association of NSW acting president Kevin Morton says the Coroners Court should not be the forum for public debate on pill testing at music festivals.NSW officers say it's "offensive and wrong" to suggest heavy-handed policing may have contributed to young people dying from drug overdoses at music festivals.

A police officer who conducted 19 strip - searches at last year's Splendour in the Grass has admitted none of them may have been legal and only Mr Adams also revealed on Tuesday the commission was investigating whether police were breaching their strip - search powers at another NSW music

Senior constable tells inquiry none of his searches at 2018 Splendour in the Grass could have been In NSW , police are required to meet a threshold for urgency and seriousness when conducting a strip The inquiry also heard the officer had given what Adams described as “seriously careless”

A solicitor said police at the music festival had created an © ABC News: Bruce Mackenzie A solicitor said police at the music festival had created an "us and them" mentality. Shopkeepers returning from their lunch breaks were strip-searched in a "military-style" police operation at the 2018 Splendour in the Grass Festival, a public hearing has been told.

The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) is investigating the use of police strip-search powers at the festival, including a case in which a "crying" 16-year-old girl was told to strip and squat.

A solicitor working at the festival, Tracey Randall, told the commission the police presence at the 2018 event created an "us and them" mentality.

'I could not believe this was happening': Teen recounts Splendour strip-search

  'I could not believe this was happening': Teen recounts Splendour strip-search The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission is investigating claims a 16-year-old girl was illegally strip-searched at the Byron Bay music festival last year,The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission on Monday heard that police asked the teenager her age and took her identification but didn't call her parents or anyone else capable of caring for her, in breach of their search powers.

A 16-year-old girl, allegedly strip - searched illegally at Splendour in the Grass , has described the "humiliating" experience of taking her clothes off in front of a police officer after being falsely detected by a sniffer dog. The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission on Monday heard that police asked the

In NSW , police are only permitted to carry out field strip - searches if the urgency and seriousness of the situation requires it. In the case of minors a parent or guardian In her opening address to the inquiry , Dwyer said that absent a legal justification for a strip - search “it would constitute an assault”.

Ms Randall said patrons were confronted by a large number of police when they walked through the gates and shop keepers had complained about the police officers' "military-style formation".

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Inquiry is investigating the allegedly unlawful strip search of a girl at Splendour in the Grass .

Strip - searches of young music festivalgoers and environmental activists could wake up middle-class Australians to a practice that routinely affects the poor Her comments come after revelations in the NSW Law Enforcement Conduct Commission that police strip - searches , including searches on a

She said some staff working at the festival were among the 143 people strip-searched.

"Store holders, people working in bars, who were handling money," she said.

She said the money they were handling may have contained traces of drugs, however, none were found with drugs on them.

Ms Randall told the Commission she believed the police were providing "legal advice" which was "inappropriate."

'Just plead guilty'

She said police were telling young people found with drugs that if they filled in a yellow form, pleading guilty, they wouldn't have to go to court and may escape a conviction.

The solicitor said this was not always the case.

"It's not a reliable prediction," she said, adding some magistrates take a dim view of defendants who don't attend court.

Ms Randall was performing legal work at the festival on a pro-bono basis.

"I approached the promoters [because] I have an interest in the legal rights of young people," she said.

Officer who strip searched 19 revellers admits no legal justification

  Officer who strip searched 19 revellers admits no legal justification Out of those searches only one item was found: a single antidepressant tablet.The revelation that more than 90 per cent of strip-searches at the 2018 festival turned up nothing prompted Michael Adams, QC, chief commissioner of NSW's police watchdog, to suggest that officers' justification for the "invasive" procedures were little more than "a gut feeling".

NSW Police admits no justification for strip searches at music festival. A police officer has acknowledged that strip searches performed at Splendour in the Grass were BR3 was part of the overall search process although a female colleague conducted the strip - search in private in a tent.

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She said in 2018, she was at her pop-up stall when she was approached by a 16-year-old and her friends who were "all very distressed".

Ms Randall said the 16-year old — whose statement was read out earlier this week — told her she had been strip-searched, but was crying so much, it took a "while" to extract information from her.

"She was sobbing uncontrollably," Ms Randall said.

The Commission has been told the 16-year old had been singled out by a sniffer dog before being told to strip and squat — no drugs were found.

Police regulations state a young person being strip-searched but have a parent, guardian or trusted person present.

The 16-year-old had nobody to support her during the search and later told Ms Randall her opinion of the police changed after the incident.

"She said … she couldn't trust police and if something happened to her at the festival she wouldn't feel like she could approach them," she said.

The commission heard evidence that while police sniffer dogs were not always accurate, they did help find large quantities of drugs on some patrons, who had smuggled them in.

At the 2018 festival, fewer than one in 10 strip-searches resulted in drug detections, the hearing was told.

Random stabbing in Adelaide forces school and streets into lockdown .
A school and surrounding streets were placed into lockdown following what police believe is a random stabbing in Adelaide. © 9News Police believe the stabbing to be random. Police and paramedics were called to an address at Mansfield Park following reports a man had been stabbed. Witnesses reported seeing a man bleeding in the streets.Students at St Patrick's Primary were forced inside, as police searched the grounds with a police dog about 10am as they tried to locate the offender and victim. © 9News Police searched St Patrick's Primary but were unable to find the victim or offender.

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