What it’s like to be strip searched
ANYONE wishing to go to a boozy music competition and hold their dignity intact, be warned: You may have your dacks round your knees earlier than taking your first sip of beer.
All it takes is a few whiffs from Skip the sniffer canine so that you can be whisked away to a tent by cops.
Earlier than you understand it, your denims are down round your ankles in entrance of a dozen folks.
As if the 5m vast gate on the entrance to Maitland’s Groovin The Moo competition on Saturday wasn’t clogged sufficient, a staff of officers leashing drug canines had been making their manner via the 1000’s of punters.
Each from time to time they’d sniff a ticket holder lengthy sufficient to warrant a swift response from quite a lot of plain-clothed officers.
I used to be unlucky sufficient to be one of many blokes pinned.
Regardless of having nothing however a few sacks of low-cost bourbon stashed under the belt, my rush to catch Ocean Alley’s 30-minute set was stopped lifeless in its tracks by a canine educated to detect unlawful medication.
After being advised to grip a bar above my head in an adjoining tent, the officers went to city.
Anybody pondering they’d have the ability to stash a pinger out of sight, assume once more. Police rummage via each pocket and sleeve in your outfit. There’s nowhere to cover. Attempting to shortly throw away your substances is out of the query as properly, as a result of by the point you’re deemed to be somebody of curiosity, your palms are out of use.
They search all of your possessions meticulously. Your telephone case, pockets, footwear and underwear all get a very good look.
Individuals coming into and exiting the tent, largely festivalgoers accompanied by officers, may see me getting a very good previous pat down. Good factor I’m not too shy.
A few previous multivitamins in my pockets had the officers prompting a confession from me, however they quickly realised my Swisse tablets weren’t the DIY-made MDMA tablets they had been after. They had been binned nonetheless.
They lastly discovered all I had was half a bottle of heat bourbon on me, which was to flee the $9 mid-strength beer on provide on the competition bar. After I had surrendered the bottle, I requested what the sniffer canine may have probably picked up.
“Every part,” one officer replied.
No disrespect to the police, they’re simply doing their job attempting to bust somebody with a literal buttload of medicine stashed up the rear. The 2 officers answerable for patting me down had been really fairly good as soon as they realised I had nothing unlawful.
I assume I can rely myself fortunate the police didn’t need to dig deeper.
However the issue stays clear — sniffer canines can and do get issues fallacious.
In 2016, the ABC revealed NSW spends over $9 million per yr on sniffer canines, excluding the wages of the dozen officers who accompany them.
“Since 2010, $66 million has been pissed up in opposition to a wall by the police drug canine unit with no social return,” Greens MP David Shoebridge mentioned in 2016.
Forty folks had been charged with drug offences on the NSW leg of the competition, the place 21,000 punters flooded the Maitland Showground.
CANBERRA PRAISED FOR PILL TESTING
Groovin The Moo was praised for its use of tablet testing stations, the primary used legally in Australia, on its Canberra leg of the six-show tour on Sunday. Traces of lethal substances had been present in two of the 85 samples provided up for testing. Polish toothpaste and paint had been uncovered as a number of the components.
Almost 130 folks had been spoken to within the testing tent, which had disposal bins.
Federal Liberal backbencher Warren Entsch mentioned drug sellers didn’t care if their merchandise give an individual a excessive or put them in a grave.
“What number of funerals do we have now to go to of those who have taken these substances and came upon they’re not what they’re offered?” he advised ABC radio on Tuesday.
Labor senator Lisa Singh believes tablet testing at festivals with out worry of police must be an possibility if governments are going to get severe about hurt minimisation.
ACT chief well being officer Dr Paul Kelly mentioned the teachings learnt from the train could be helpful for the territory and different states.
Neither aspect of federal politics has a coverage on the problem.
— with AAP
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