Police in Australia have come under fire for complaints from women claiming to bend over during comic strip investigations and in one case even being ordered to remove a tampon.
Despite this, New South Wales police say they will continue to conduct the searches after a police watchdog intervenes to investigate.
On Tuesday, the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission released a number of complaints against Aussie police officers after five young women were searched at strip festivals in 2018 and 2019 and two outside the Star casino in Sydney.
The actions were described as demeaning and demeaning, with one of the women searched outside the casino in January 2019 even being asked to remove her tampon.
In its findings, the official report noted, “Many of the people who underwent a comic strip study in Strike Force Blackford described their experience as demeaning or demeaning.
“Searched persons indicated they were asked to cough and squat or bend over.”
The police claimed that the guidance for the police was not clear and the complaints “revealed a lack of clarity for first-line officers as to the legality of such a request”.
In response to these and other factors, the [NSW Police] In August 2019, he prepared the People Search Guide to ensure that police officers are properly instructed on how to conduct searches, “said the watchdog.
The complaints addressed in the reports included a young woman who claimed she was made to cough and squat during a drug investigation at the Hidden Music Festival, in Olympic Park in March 2019.
Despite no drugs being found, she was falsely kicked out of the festival and issued a six-month notice for the Sydney Showgrounds ban. According to reports, there was “insufficient legal basis” for police action against her.
The authority advised the police to apologize to the woman.
Another music lover who worked as an artist at the Secret Garden Festival in February 2019 as an artist was made to pull down her underpants and bend over despite no drugs being found.
The case came to light when her parents complained.
The Committee noted that the law states that “suspects are on reasonable grounds that strip investigations are necessary” and that “the seriousness and urgency of the circumstances necessitates strip investigations”.
Because of the complaints, the Commission noted that many practices have now “significantly improved”, but that the forces have stopped changing its opinion.
Police do not intend to turn “their current instructions” into personal searches, which include “asking a person to squat, lift their breasts, separate their glutes, or turn their bodies.”
However, an updated version of the People Search Guide is being prepared.