The office of David Shoebridge has today released our proposal for significant reform to police search powers in NSW. Strip searches and drug dog searches are two interrelated programs by the NSW Police Force primarily intended to target drug possession and use. We have produced a detailed consultation paper about the proposed legal reforms and the data we have on these programs. This material is available for download here: Drug Detection Dogs and Strip Searches Bill Consultation Paper

There has been a strong push within the community and in the media to reform the laws governing police search powers, especially in regards strip searches and drug dogs, and this consultation paper presents one possible model.

Our Draft Bill makes five main changes:

1. It changes when strip searches can be carried out to limit these to circumstances where there is an immediate and serious risk to the life and safety of any person and
2. It defines clearly what constitutes a strip search
3. It expressly prohibits police forcing people to engage in degrading and humiliating conduct such as “cough and squat” during a strip search
4. It prohibits police strip searching young people aged under 16 who are not under arrest
5. It limits the use of general drug detection dogs to those circumstances where police have a court warrant.

We would like your feedback on the draft changes including:

• If you agree there are problems with the current drug dog and strip search programs
• If you agree or disagree that law changes are the appropriate response
• The specifics of the model we are proposing

An online survey is available here:

Alternatively written submissions can be provided by email (preferred) to [email protected] or by post to Office of David Shoebridge, Parliament of NSW, Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Your input will feed into a final version of the bill which will be presented to the NSW Parliament in early 2020.