Help us Change Strip Search Laws!

From 2016 to 2017, strip searches conducted after the use of drug dogs have almost doubled in NSW. A strip search generally requires a person to remove all their clothes and may involve visual inspection of a person’s body.

Redfern Legal Centre (RLC) has been contacted by many people who have been subjected to humiliating full-body strip searches at festivals and other public places, where police have failed to ensure the preservation of privacy and dignity as required by law.

Teenagers and children as young as ten have been subjected to a full-body strip search.1 In some circumstances, they have been asked to squat and cough.2

The stories we are hearing are distressing and could have been avoided.

The laws and procedures guiding strip searches need to be improved. Young people should feel safe to ask police for help when it is needed. But the overuse of strip searches is making young people feel unsafe and closing down lines of communication with police.

We all want young people to be safe. Let’s work together to prevent the overuse of strip searches.

[1] ABC, ‘NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge says two thirds of police strip searches come to nothing’, AAP; Dean Lewins, 13 Nov 2018.

[2] ABC, Triple J, Hack, ‘Strip, squat and cough: Your music festival legal FAQs answered’, 19 Nov 2016.

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“I don’t tell many people about what happened because I feel very vulnerable, embarrassed and get teary.”