RLC in the Media: 14-year-old found with MDMA at Good Life Lost City music festival in Sydney

NSW police have revealed that all but one strip search lead to the discovery of illicit drugs at an underage music festival in Sydney on the weekend.

Angelica Snowden reports for The Australian

More than 40 searches were conducted at the Good Life Lost City music festival at Sydney Showground over the weekend, including 12 strip searches, a NSW Police spokeswoman said. The festival at Sydney Olympic Park was an under-18s only event.

The youngest teenager found with drugs was 14 years old and the eldest was 17 years old.

While police said 11 of the 12 strip searches “resulted in positive detections” some parents took to social media to express their concern with the level of force used.

“My daughter was taken to a room and strip searched. She was told to put her hands on the wall and not move or it’s classed as a threat,” one parent said on Facebook.

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge on Monday accused police of abusing young people by exposing them to the highly intrusive procedure.

“We know from communication from some of those children that in the course of those strip-searches they were made to undertake the humiliating process of squatting so police could observe them from those humiliating angles,” he said.

Redfern Legal Centre’s police accountability solicitor, Sam Lee, says people between the ages of 10 and 17 must have a parent or guardian present during a strip-search.

However, there’s an “opt-out clause” in NSW which means if a parents or guardian is not present and police believe the search is urgent, they can proceed, Ms Lee said.

“We all want young people to be safe, but whether something is found or not found, what we do want is for the law to be adhered to.”

Read the full article here (The Australian, 24 February 2020)