CONTROL: Police sniffer dogs at the enterance of Splendour In The Grass 2013.
CONTROL: Police sniffer dogs at the enterance of Splendour In The Grass 2013. Patrick Gorbunovs

Strip search of 16-year-old girl at Splendour under scrutiny

THE strip search of an under-age female at Splendour in the Grass 2018 will be scrutinised at a police watchdog hearing next month.

The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission today confirmed it will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, October 22, from 10am "regarding the strip search of an under age female at the Splendour in the Grass music festival in July 2018 by NSW Police, and strip search practices more generally”.

The public hearing, part of Operation Brugge, will be held at the Commission's hearing room, level 3, 111 Elizabeth Street, Sydney.

The hearing is expected to run for three days.

The general scope and purpose of the hearing will be whether NSW Police Force officers "engaged in serious misconduct” during the detention and strip search of a 16-year old female on July 20, 2018, at Splendour in the Grass music festival.

The hearing will also look into whether NSW Police acted in ways "that is or could be unlawful or unreasonable” in applying the laws relating to searches, including, in particular, strip searches.

A report published last August by the University of NSW stated that the use of drug dogs resulted in a 20-fold rise in strip searches, from 277 times in the 12 months to November 30 in 2006, to 5483 in 2018.

The report, commissioned by the Redfern Legal Centre, detailed strip searched by police of minors in regional towns and of adults at music festival where nothing was found.

The report also stated that 30 per cent of all strip-searches conducted outside of NWW police stations in 2017 and 2018 resulted in charges.

The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission is an independent statutory body, whose aim is to detect, investigate and expose serious misconduct and serious maladministration within the NSW Police Force.

The Commission is separate from and completely independent of the NSW Police Force.



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