Illawarra Greens. Social justice, environmental sustainability, peace and non-violence and grassroots democracy.

Sniffer dogs not a deterrent against drug use

Sniffer Dogs not a deterrent for drug use
"The increase in drug detections at this years Yours and Owls festival makes it obvious that sniffer dogs are not a deterrent against drug use. In 2016 there were 11 festival goers that were caught with drugs, this year it jumped to 43. The "tough on drugs" approach just isn't working." said Wollongong Greens Councillor, Cath Blakey
"If we're concerned about public safety, then pill testing is far more effective to reduce harm from illicit drugs.  The pill testing service at Groove in the Moo Festival in April in the ACT demonstrated that when festival goers had their drugs tested, and then received anonymous, timely and specific drug information from health workers about the short and long term effects, it reduced harm and lead to a number of people binning their drugs." 
"Following the Yours and Owls weekend festival, what the police have failed to publicise is how many people were stopped and strip searched. BOSCAR (Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research) data shows that sniffer dogs get it wrong 70% of the time.  On Sunday I spoke with a number of festival goers that had stopped by drug dogs on Saturday, given a strip search, and tested negative for drugs. They described it as a humiliating experience and raised concerns about handler bias and police profiling. It’s incredible that the shonky, unreliable indication from a dog gives the police power to conduct a strip search without a warrant."

Media enquiries - Cath Blakey - phone: 0458 490 122