According to the figures, drug dogs falsely indicate the presence of drugs between 64-72% of the time. Despite this, police use drug dog indications to conduct intrusive public searches.
The drug dogs program costs NSW hundreds of thousands of dollars each years, and seriously impacts your right to privacy. On top of that a 2006 Ombudsman’s report recommended the immediate end of the program.The drug dogs program focuses on music festivals, bars, public transport and Redfern which means it targets young people, Aboriginal communities and the poor. Most people who are found with drugs are carrying small amounts of cannabis – they are not dealers. After an indication from a drug dog the police can search you, even though they know the indication likely does not mean drugs are present. The police can strip search you if they deem it necessary in the circumstances. Furthermore drugs sniffer dogs do not encourage safe drug taking. Two young Australians have died at festivals when they swallowed all of their drugs at once to avoid detection.
We are campaigning online, on the ground and in the media. David hosted a community forum in Redfern, a community which is disproportionately targeted by police drug dogs. Speakers included Ray Jackson from the Indigenous Social Justice Association, Kyol Blakeney from the University of Sydney Students Representative Council, Jenny Leong the Greens candidate for Newtown and Miles Hunt from Unharm.
Our volunteers have been handing out information on drug dogs at festivals, bars and train stations where people are harassed by police. Many people we speak to have had negative experiences with drug dogs.
- 2006 Ombudsman’s Report which suggested scrapping drug dog legislation
- Sydney Morning Herald article about strip searches
- City News article about the targeting of Redfern
- Opinion piece by Alex Wodak and Nicholas Cowdery
How can I help?
1. We have produced a leaflet with helpful information about the effectiveness of drug dogs and what to do when dealing with police. If you would like copies to hand out feel free to contact the office, or alternatively print it out yourself using this file.
Stickers are also available from the office in the following designs.
2. You can contact the office of Stuart Ayres, Minister for Police and Emergency Services at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Steve Whan, Shadow Minister for Police at email@example.com
Both major parties support the use of drug dogs but will change their position if enough voters make their voices heard.
3. Like and share our Facebook page
4. If you would like to volunteer with the campaign, wish to interview David or have him speak at an event please email firstname.lastname@example.org