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Revealed: NSW Police were given quotas for personal searches

Under freedom-of-information laws, it has been revealed by Sydney Morning Herald that NSW Police are required to meet a personal search ‘quota’. With huge controversy surrounding strip searching over the last year, NSW Police are being slammed under the new findings.

Described by former director of public prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery as a means for “abuse of power,” the new reports reveal that quotas are being established around police searches, move-on orders, and the closure of reported crimes each year.

nsw police search quotas

“…it’s a political exercise on the part of the police and, consequently, on the part of the government.” 

Just so you know, the search target for 2019-2020 is 237,089 people. For the previous year it was 241,632, with the actual number of searches undertaken amounting to 238,813.

There are also specific areas of NSW targeted under these quotas, or clear evidence showing that people living in specified geographical locations are more likely to be searched at nearly 13 times the average rate. For example, Kings Cross experiences 44 searches for every 100 people living in the area, compared to The Hills where the target is less than one search for every 100 persons.

Despite NSW Police conducting 2200 extra searches in some areas, reports have affirmed that there is “no evidence that increases in move-on directions and person searches have an immediate suppression effect on burglary, motor vehicle theft, and robbery.”

For now, we can only wait. Redfern Legal Centre has ordered further investigations after the revelation of the new reports and a recent incline in the number of strip searches being conducted across the state.

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February 13, 2020