Questionable strip searches conducted by the NSW Police force on four teenagers at two separate music festivals have been deemed unlawful because no parents or guardians were present, as required by law.
The strip searches occurred during Splendour in the Grass in 2018 and the Lost City Music Festival in 2019. The first, on a 16-year-old girl at the Byron Bay event she attended, and the others involved three teenage boys, aged between 15 and 17 at the Homebush event.
The details of each case are quite troubling… In the first, an underage girl was asked to “undress and squat” at Splendour in the Grass in 2018 after a drug dog sat down beside her. The victim recalls she “could not stop crying. I was completely humiliated.”
According to a report, one boy at Lost City Music Festival was told, “Hold your d*ck and lift your balls up and show me your gooch.” Another boy was strip searched and an officer “made contact with his testicles” while ungloved.
The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) ruled all four cases unlawful. However, none of the officers involved were charged with misconduct — instead, the force was scolded for “lacking sufficient experience” and “inadequate training.”
The NSW Police provided a brief statement: “The NSW Police Force is committed to continuous improvement and has developed initiatives to standardise operational orders and enhance compliance.”