NSW police powers to strip children of searches need review – Public Order

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Girls as young as 12 were undressed, according to NSW Police. The controversial power to undress children needs a review. It’s so simple.

Today, The Sunday Herald announced that Police Minister Yasmin Catley had promised to review the law.

The data confirmed that the police searched more than 100 children. This included girls as young as 12 years old. On Friday, Parliamentary Secretary Tara Moriarty said the figures were “a cause for concern”.

NSW Police Strip Search Children

Why is this happening? NSW Police believed these children were hiding drugs or weapons.

From July 2022 to June 2023, three primary school girls and six 13-year-old girls had to strip. However, that was not all. Between 2022 and 2023, 107 children had to undress. 20% of the wanted children were Aboriginal.

The impact of illegal strip searches on children

As a result, children may fear the police after illegal searches. This could be their first interaction with law enforcement. Similarly, a negative experience can lead to distrust of the police. This means, for example, that they are less likely to go to the police with information about a crime. Also for help or testing the pill at the festival.

NSW Police confirmed that searches should only take place if the situation is serious. However, if a police officer believes that an immediate search is necessary for security reasons, he or she may do so without the consent of an adult.

The problem with the power to strip search children in New South Wales

Experts believe that the right to search children is more of a routine police practice. However, it is intended for emergency use only. Moreover, according to experts, the power is barbaric. It also lacks any form of child protection.

Recently, our General Counsel and Founder, Peter O’Brien, he spoke to the Law Society Journal about illegal searches. Over the past two years, O’Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors has dealt with dozens of illegal search cases.

Petr confirmed that in any case we managed to secure payment of compensation for the client. In other words, we have a great track record of winning these cases.

Additionally, Peter stated that compensation is generally in the “tens of thousands rather than hundreds of thousands”. However, each case is different.

O’Brien adds:

Generally, a short detention and illegal search where the police did not touch the plaintiff plus legal fees will run into the tens of thousands. However, we have had cases where the severe traumatic, psychological effects on the client resulted in a six-figure settlement.

Search for tape similar to sexual assault

Peter went on to explain that illegal strip searches are like sexual assault:

In the case of persons under the age of 18, they are not accompanied by an adult. This is expected by law, so they are completely helpless during a strip search. In some cases, people have to bend, stoop, and manipulate views of their genitalia, which in my mind is akin to sexual assault, and I’m trying to understand that it’s not.

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