RLC in the Media: 21yo Georgia was on her way to a music festival when she was madeto strip naked and squat

When Georgia and her friends were driving along the Murray River near border of New South Wales and Victoria, they didn’t expect to come across an army of police.

Jessica Staveley reports for Mamamia

The group of friends, who were heading to music festival Strawberry Fields, were still a few kilometres away from the festival in Tocumwal when they came across the police operation.

Immediately, Georgia and her friends were flagged down by police.

Although the police didn’t find any drugs – or any other contraband – in the vehicle, Georgia was given a drug test, while her friend Annabelle was taken to a tent to be strip searched.

After taking a drug test, a sniffer dog sat down at Georgia’s feet.

“You go in the tent, and they tell you take off all of your clothes – one by one. They look through all your clothes as you’re taking them off. Even your underwear and your bra. They make you untie your hair and ruffle that out. They look inside your mouth. Then there’s the best part – when you’re fully naked in front of a complete stranger, they make you squat. It’s completely degrading.”

“I think it’s a form of state-sanctioned sexual assault perpetrated against individuals as a punitive measure for going to festivals and having fun,” she said.

Earlier this week, new research commissioned by Redfern Legal Centre found that there has been an almost 20-fold increase in strip searches (excluding strip searches in police stations) in NSW in the last 12 years.

The study also found that between 2014-15 and 2017-18, strip searches conducted outside of police station found nothing more than 60 per cent of the time.

Read the full article here (Mamamia, 28 August 2019)