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Police plan to ban anyone a sniffer dog sits next to from entering Sydney Above & Beyond show

Even if they don't have drugs on them

  • SCOTT CARBINES
  • 6 June 2018
Police plan to ban anyone a sniffer dog sits next to from entering Sydney Above & Beyond show

Police plan to ban anyone a sniffer dog sits next to from entering Sydney's Above & Beyond show this weekend - even if they don't have any drugs on them.

In a media release, South West Metropolitan Region Commander Assistant Commissioner Peter Thurtell said anyone a dog "makes an indication" towards will be denied entry to the Sydney Showgrounds gig, which costs $130 per ticket.

A New South Wales (NSW) police spokeswoman confirmed to the Sydney Morning Herald that people who a dog sat next to would not be arrested or charged if they weren't in possession of drugs, but they would be removed from the show.

The paper reports: "Statistics obtained from the state government show that, of searches conducted in 2011, a dog sat next to a person to indicate they might be carrying drugs in 14,102 cases. In 11,248 cases - approximately 80 per cent - no drugs were found."

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge, who runs the party's Sniff Off campaign, said the move was "a clear abuse of police powers."

“It’s not an offence to have a drug dog falsely indicate you are carrying drugs," he said.

“We have known for many years that between two-thirds and three-quarters of drug dog indications are false positives where people are not found to be carrying any drugs.

“It’s hard to see how this kind of action by police could be legal, seeing how it involves punishment in the absence of any offence.

“The war on drugs is war on young people, with little to no impact on public safety or crime."

Mr Shoebridge added on Twitter: "This is not the first time they have done this - police refused entry to people who were searched and found clear at Midnight Mafia last month."

Scott Carbines is Mixmag's Australian Digital Content Editor, follow him on Twitter

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