RLC in the Media: NSW police are told to film strip searches, documents reveal

Amid growing concern about the increasing use of police strip-search powers in NSW, police powers solicitor Sam Lee spoke to the Guardian about documents obtained by RLC revealIng that officers routinely film searches while they are being conducted.

Michael McGowan reports for The Guardian

The standard operating procedures (SOPs), previously withheld from the public domain, include a direction that: “A person’s privacy is not a sufficient reason to cease filming a strip search conducted in the lawful execution of an officer’s duty.”

RLC's police accountability lawyer, Sam Lee, said there were “enormous privacy considerations” involved that should have been “publicly explored” before giving police that power. However, she also pointed out there would be "members of the public who would benefit from access to such a recording in the event that a strip search may have been conducted unlawfully."

“[The Redfern Legal Centre] believes police discretion to activate [the cameras] should be removed and for there to be robust operational guidelines around activation, tagging, retention and release to promote greater police accountability and transparency.”

Read the full article: NSW police are told to film strip searches, documents reveal (Michael McGowan, The Guardian, 2 August 2019)