It’s a favourite pastime of The Greens to skewer the NSW Government‘s widely criticised use of sniffer dogs everywhere from music festivals to public pools.
And the party’s just been given a fresh round of ammo after new figures show state police spent an eye-watering $66 million on its sniffer dog drug detection unit over the past seven years.
66 MILLION. That’s an average of $9.42 million a year since 2010 on on something that’s effectively been proven ineffective in the reduction of drug offences.
But NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge reckons the true cost of the drug dog operation could actually be even higher, because the police costings only cover the unit’s upkeep, training and operational costs.
An operations manual released under NSW Freedom Of Information laws shows that sniffer dogs require a huge amount of police resources, with a minimum of six cops accompanying each pupper and its handler, and 10 officers accompanying each dog at music fests.
“We now have a further 65 million reasons to stop the ineffective police drug dog operations,” he told The Guardian. “The waste of money is just extraordinary.”
Shoebridge is of the belief anything that costs the taxpayer *that* much dough should have its effectiveness justified by publically available metrics on how it’s working, or rather how it’s not; of 14,600 people searched by drug dogs in 2014, 74% were found with nothing on them.
“Any other part of government would have to justify its expense but the police drug dog unit seems to be above criticism. Put simply, the dogs don’t work and the police waste enormous resources proving that point every day at our train stations and on our streets.”
Source: The Guardian.