Greens NSW MP David Shoebridge has come out swinging against NSW Police after its latest sniffer dog / search operation took place on a Wednesday afternoon at Sydney‘s Central Station.
“Police strip searching people as they’re passing through Central station on a mid-week afternoon is a sickening example of NSW Police acting out the Liberal government’s aggressive drug policies,” Shoebridge told PEDESTRIAN.TV.
“All this aggressive overpolicing achieves is to breach civil liberties. Nobody should be stripped and humiliated at Central on the opinion of a dog.“
Imagine being on your way home from work and being stop by police with their drug dogs and strip searched in a tent on a station platform. This isn't some dystopian future, this is happening right now in Sydney. This is sickening. We need to vote the Liberals out on March 23rd. pic.twitter.com/q75s84mYZJ
— David Shoebridge (@ShoebridgeMLC) March 13, 2019
Shoebridge has long been opposed to NSW Police’s drug searching operations. In Budget Estimates in 2018 NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller confirmed that police had doubled the number of strip searches done after drug dog “indications” from 2016. Fuller said he did not find the figure alarming.
Multiple people have come forward recently to say they were humiliated and strip searched at festivals in NSW by police, but that doesn’t seem to have discouraged the cops from continuing operations, as Sydneysiders visiting the city’s largest train station discovered on Wednesday afternoon.
Punters began reporting a drug dog operation by police at Central Station on Wednesday afternoon. We’re not just talking dogs: there were fully strung up “privacy screens” as well.
Large police presence with drug dog and strip search tents set up at Sydney Central station.
Strip search tents. At a train station. pic.twitter.com/HcWqPkRACe
— Chris Dengate (@Chris_dengate) March 13, 2019
People were… not impressed by the police operation.
— Comrade Weez (@weezmgk) March 13, 2019
Cops with sniffer dogs strip searching people(In tents) at central station in Sydney is full fucked
— Corey (@Coreyfromaus) March 13, 2019
STRIP SEARCH TENTS AT CENTRAL STATION WTAF NSW https://t.co/x9qkDy4PpK
— Lauren Gillin (@ljgillin) March 13, 2019
imagine you’re on your way to uni or work, you’re late, and INNOCENT, but you’re stopped at central station in peak hour for a strip search. how is this scenario not something they would have thought about??? that’s disgusting
— Not Dennis (@samisND) March 13, 2019
A spokesperson for NSW Police told PEDESTRIAN.TV that, contrary to public reports, the areas were not strip searching tents.
“The NSW Police Force regularly patrol our train station and it is common practice to erect privacy screens for the purpose of a search,” said the spokesperson. “They are not strip searching tents.“
The spokesperson did not elaborate on whether any particular incident or event had kicked off the surprising Wednesday afternoon operation.Image: Twitter / @Chris_Dengate