Newtown Greens candidate vows to introduce Bill to end sniffer dog program if elected

Last night at a community meeting in Redfern, Jenny Leong, Greens candidate for Newtown, declared that if elected to the seat, she would introduce a bill in the NSW Parliament to end the General Police Drug Dog Program in NSW.

"The NSW police have better things to do than interfere with the freedom of people to go about their business. The General Police Drug Dog Programin NSW is nothing more than state sanctioned harassment and intimidation on public transport, in our pubs and clubs, and at festivals,” Jenny Leong said.

"The impact of the intimidation and harassment of the General Police Drug Dog Program in NSW has broader implications for our society and our ability to live as a community where no matter what your gender, gender identity, age, race, or religion, you have the right to feel safe and be free from harassment by police.

"We need to see evidence-based policing in NSW that is focused on serving and protecting the needs of the community, not an enforcement agency which contributes to the intimidation, mistrust and discrimination already faced by marginalised groups,” she said.

"When the Liberal Government introduced the bill to further expand drug dog use across stations, streets and other areas without the need for a warrant, the Labor Opposition once again failed to oppose these measures.

"Disappointingly, the ALP candidate for Newtown, as the Shadow Minister for Transport, not only failed to speak out against the bill, but then voted for it along with her party - assuring its passage through the Parliament,” she said.

"As a former human rights campaigner with Amnesty International, I am acutely aware of the how governments use police powers to implement regressive agendas and violate the rights of their citizens.

"In Redfern, where we held the community forum last night, there were 1000 searches in the last year and people are 6.5 times more likes to be searched at Redfern than at Central. Redfern has the highest false positive rate for sniffer dog indications of any local area command,” Ms Leong said.

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