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NSW police to be placed under review for strip-searching minors

The legal watchdog for the NSW police has announced they will be reviewing a series of cases regarding the improper use of strip-searches on numerous minors earlier this year.

The all-ages music festival Lost City was the site of a number of strip-searches on underage festival-goers and is considered a misuse of the legal power.

It follows the release of a series of records regarding strip-search interventions which revealed that over a hundred underage girls, including two 12-year-olds and eight 13-year-olds, were improperly strip-searched over the last three years.

The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission, responsible for the inquiry, will also be taking into account the case of a 16-year-old girl who was told to strip completely and squat for inspection at the 2018 Splendour In The Grass festival, without a parent or guardian present. In her own account of the event, the girl described her feelings of deep humiliation and vulnerability which led her to tears regarding such a brash use of police authority.

This is only one of many traumatic accounts given by women who have faced instances close to sexual harassment while being strip-searched.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller insists that young people should have at least “a little bit of fear” of the police, which leaves the general public seriously questioning the responsibility of the NSW police force as ‘protectors’ or prosecutors of the youth of Australia.

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November 20, 2019