Police Use of Powers Stripped Bare

NSW Police may have conducted illegal strip searches on up to six children at last years Splendour in the Grass music festival. Officers conducted the invasive searches on seven children aged between 10 – 18 years old, but only one of the suspects had a parent or guardian present whilst the search was undertaken.

These revelations came to light after the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission began holding an inquiry into police behavior at music festivals.

The inquiry has heard evidence from a 16-year-old girl who was lining up to attend day one of the music festival. Officers allegedly asked the girl to step out line after a police dog gave a positive indication to the presence of drugs.

Officers reportedly took the girl to a private tent where they asked the girl to strip, squat and cough. It is alleged that the 16-year-old gave police her identification, but officers did not call a parent or capable carer to be present at the search in a breach of Police search powers.

The young girls’ identity has been withheld to protect her privacy, but in a statement to the LECC inquiry spoke of her daunting interaction with police “I was absolutely shocked that police would do this to me.”