NSW Greens MP and drug law reform spokesperson Cate Faehrmann has renewed calls to scrap the expensive drug detection dog program after uncovering data showing a $46 million price tag over the last decade, with only one in four of the nearly 95,000 people searched being found with drugs on them.
Read more in the Guardian’s story today.
“This data is yet more proof that the drug detection dogs program in NSW is a massive failure, especially considering that three out of four searches result in no drugs being found,” said Cate Faehrmann.
“Over the past decade, $46 million has been spent on this program and this figure doesn’t even include the fact that six to ten police officers need to accompany every drug detection dog.
“When drug detection dogs were first introduced in NSW, it was under the guise of targeting supply. Yet over the past decade, almost 95,000 people in this state have been subject to a search, including strip searches, with 75% of those having no drugs on them.
“It’s clear that the whole scheme is now being used to harass and target people for simply heading out for a drink, to catch a train or to attend a music festival.
“It’s especially hard to understand how, with all these police officers in attendance, the Law Enforcement Conduct Committee has repeatedly found that strip searches are being conducted improperly and without adequate recordkeeping.
“Now that the Government is moving towards a pre-court diversion scheme for drugs, they must match this with scrapping drug dogs and focus police resources where they’re actually needed,” said Ms Faehrmann.
Contact: Seppy Pour 0401 796 238