Strip search of 16-year-old girl at Splendour 'humiliating'
THE "humiliating" circumstances of a teenage girl being stripped searched at last year's Splendour in the Grass music festival in Byron Bay have been recounted.
At a Law Enforcement Conduct Commission hearing yesterday it emerged the 16-year-old was forced to strip and squat in front of police officer after a sniffer dog mistakenly singled her out for attention.
In a statement read before the commission, and reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, the teenager said she became frightened after having her phone confiscated and being separated from her friends, recounting the moment when it dawned on her she was going to have to get completely naked in front of police.
"I could not believe this was happening to me; I could not stop crying; I was completely humiliated," the girl, whose identity has been suppressed, said.
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.
The Counsel Assisting the Commission said the police strip-search could've constituted an assault on the girl.
She said police regulations required a parent, guardian or support person present when searching minors.
The hearing continues.