The Greens’ bill to end the use of drug detection dogs in a public place without a warrant came to the NSW Parliament this morning.
Member for Newtown Jenny Leong MP delivered a speech outlining the Green’s opposition to the costly, ineffective, intimidatory and discriminatory use of sniffer dogs.
Ms Leong said:
“In NSW, the use of sniffer dogs by police on public transport, at festivals and in bars is not about effective drug control. It is about police intimidation and harassment.
“Time after time the stats show that the program just doesn’t work. Health and law specialists say so. The Ombudsman says so. But the government is stubbornly refusing to see the evidence.
“Before the election I told the people of the electorate of Newtown that, if elected, I would introduce a bill to repeal the costly, ineffective, discriminatory and intimidatory police drug dog program. Today I delivered on that promise.
“The Greens are looking forward to the up-coming debate on this bill, to see how the Government will justify continuing to fund a program that is clearly not working.
Greens MP and Justice Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
“The data is clear – drug dogs don’t work. They are a PR exercise for the Baird Government’s failed war on drugs.
“The fact is that police drug dogs repeatedly get it wrong, with 80% of searches on the public transport system being a result of false positives where no drugs are found.
“Even when police dogs do identify drugs, it is usually a small amount for personal consumption. Only 2% of searches result in a supply conviction.
“The drug dog regime does not target high-level drug dealers or suppliers. It targets young people, the poor and Aboriginal communities.
“Routinely harassing and humiliating innocent people on the basis of false positives from drug dogs is a day to day occurrence in NSW and it’s time it ended.” Mr Shoebridge said.