Wednesday, December 14, 2011

NSW Police arrest suspects who were angry at failed dog searches

They should cop it sweet when they have wrongly detained people. But instead of apologizing they arrest their victims. The failure rate of the sniffer dogs is so great that the whole project would be abandoned by any police force with respect for the innocent

AN INCREASING number of people searched for drugs but not found to be carrying them after being identified by police sniffer dogs are being charged or cautioned for angry outbursts against police.

The failure of a record 80 per cent of sniffer dog searches this year has also raised questions about the potential for legal challenges against police by people not found to be carrying drugs.

Official government figures provided in response to questions on notice show that in the nine months to September more than 300 people were charged for offences relating to their interaction with police while being searched for drugs.

All 307 people were among the 11,248 people found not to be carrying drugs after they were identified by sniffer dogs and searched by police. Last year 305 people were charged for similar offences; in 2009 it was 264, in 2008 it was 85 and in 2007 it was two.

The NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge, who requested the government figures, said there was no excuse for poor behaviour towards police, but questioned the value of intrusive body searches on people suspected of carrying drugs, where in the vast majority of cases no drugs were found.

The Police Minister, Mike Gallacher, said yesterday he supported the use of sniffer dogs, which had a highly acute sense of smell and could detect on people traces of drugs or explosives even after they had been discarded.


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