RLC in the Media: NSW Police face stripsearch lawsuit from Splendour in the Grass attendees

People who were allegedly unlawfully stripsearched at the Splendour in the Grass music festival could be entitled to thousands of dollars in compensation.

Catie McLeod reports for The Daily Telegraph.

Lawyers believe hundreds of young people, including teenagers, were unlawfully stripsearched at the annual event between 2016 and 2019 and are calling for them to join a class action to sue NSW Police.

Redfern Legal Centre (RLC) and Slater and Gordon, who are launching the case, allege festivalgoers were told to lift or remove items of clothing, strip naked and squat and cough or lift their genitals so officers could visually inspect body cavities.

RLC principal solicitor Alexis Goodstone said the “groundbreaking” class action would seek redress for people subjected to “invasive and traumatic searches”.

“We also hope this test case will pave the way for a series of cases focusing on other locations or music festivals and, importantly, help stop unlawful police searches in NSW,” she said.

Ruby, who asked not to have her real name published, says she will participate in the class action after she was stripsearched twice at the festival in 2017 when she was 23.

“The way I was treated by police was disgusting. The police presumed I was guilty, and I was treated like a criminal without any justification,” she claimed.

Ruby is a diabetic and said she was carrying an insulin pump at the festival when a drug detection dog stopped near her. She was subsequently told to strip naked and searched by police.

She said the experience was “traumatising” and that “no one should be treated like this”.

Read the full article here. (Daily Telegraph, 16 November 2021)