The Daily Telegraph reports NSW state coroner Harriet Grahame will recommend a reduction of police drug operations as well as the introduction of pill testing at music festivals following an extensive inquest into music festival deaths.
A draft report sent to the NSW Department of Health last week and shared with the NSW Police Department includes over 40 recommendations, including a reduction of police presence at musical festivals and the scrapping of sniffer dogs.
The NSW Liberal government has repeatedly downplayed the idea of pill testing, often using the topic as a campaign tool to rally support from its conservative base. However, in the face of growing evidence from experts in the field and internationally, Grahame’s suggestions may act as the final push needed to implement the harm reduction method.
Or, y’know, Berejiklian & Co. will continue to push the mantra that the best defence against drug deaths is not taking drugs in the first place – something that has literally been trotted out for decades, and has literally no evidence of decreasing harm.
The NSW inquest into deaths at music festivals heard from medical staff, police, and experts about the deaths of six young Australian festival goers at various festivals.
It’s not just the inquest that has shined a spotlight on the harm reduction methods of NSW’s police and government: Greens MLC David Shoebridge has campaigned heavily against strip searches, asserting that they occur far too often.
A study published by the Redfern Legal Centre in August showed strip searches in the state had increased from 277 between December 2005 and November 2006 to 5483 in 2017/18.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said the figures were wrong, claiming it was only better record keeping that had resulted in an increase in documentation.
“If the police say these figures are wrong it has taken them 12 years to get around to mentioning it,” Shoebridge told Pedestrian.TV.
In March, just about every major medical health body in the country backed pill testing. The Australian Medical Association formally threw their hat in the ring, “strongly” supporting pill testing trials that are medically supervised.