In the past year, NSW police officers have strip-searched 96 children and more than 20 percent of them were Indigenous.
Sonia Hickey reports for Lexology.
New figures obtained under Freedom of Information laws also show that the proportion of searches carried out on Indigenous Australians of all ages rose from 9 percent to 13 percent between 2018-19 and 2019-20.
In the regional town of Dubbo in the west of New South Wales, despite representing only 20 percent of the entire population, Indigenous Australians made up two-thirds of the total number of strip-searches.
The Redfern Legal Centre in Sydney, which obtained these most recent figures is currently exploring a potential class action lawsuit against NSW police over alleged ‘systemic’ use of strip searches, in particular their use with children.
Certainly the figures reported over the past several years show that strip searches are on the rise in alarming numbers and are becoming something of a ‘routine’ police practice.