The NSW Police Commissioner has today admitted in an interview with The Daily Telegraph that strip searches are designed to create fear of the police force.
The Commissioner went on to say, in defence of the wide-spread practice, that “people need to understand there are consequences”.
Greens MP David Shoebridge said:
“The police should be working with the community to ensure safety, not actively creating fear and seeking to hand out extrajudicial punishment.
“This is a clear political intervention by the head of a supposedly apolitical police force in response to growing community pressure to end the humiliating and traumatising practice of police strip searches.
“The NSW Police have strip-searched a ten year old child, over 120 girls and thousands of people across the state just going about their daily lives.
“Now that misuse of strip searches by police for drug possession has been discredited the Police Commissioner is alleging that searches are to reduce knife crime.
“Young women are not hiding knives in their underwear when they are entering music festivals.
“Strip searches will not reduce knife crime, they won’t reduce drug trafficking.
“Two-thirds of the time, strip searches turn up nothing and when they do find something, it’s more than likely drugs for personal use.
“What they will do is teach an entire generation of young people to rightly distrust the police force”.