A teenager who was unlawfully strip searched at a music festival near Byron Bay is still waiting for a personal apology from police. An inquiry by the NSW Law Enforcement Conduct Commission was told an apology had been issued to the girl, who was 16 at the time of the incident. The teenager was singled out by a sniffer dog as she entered the Splendour in the Grass Festival at Yelgun in No drugs were found, and the girl later told the state's Law Enforcement Conduct Commission LECC that she felt humiliated and had sobbed uncontrollably during the ordeal. The LECC recently found that search was unlawful for several reasons, including because no parent or guardian was contacted. A spokesperson for the NSW Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott, issued a statement to the ABC saying strip searches could "uncover very serious offences that put the safety of young people in jeopardy".
Naked strip search of 16-year-old girl 'unlawful', NSW watchdog finds
Illegally strip-searching teens isn't "serious misconduct", oversight body rules - The Big Smoke
Teenager unlawfully strip searched at Splendour in the Grass 'waiting for apology' from police
The teenager at the centre of a high-profile strip-search investigation has rejected NSW Police's claim they apologised to her over the illegal procedure. The lawyer for the year-old woman, who cannot be legally named, also sent a cease-and-desist letter to Police Commissioner Mick Fuller over on-air comments he made last November, accusing him of inviting speculation about her client's "history". A police sniffer dog in action at Slendour in the Grass in Credit: AAP. The police watchdog has found the teenager was unlawfully strip searched at Byron Bay's Splendour in the Grass festival in July , when officers overlooked legal obligations to have a parent or guardian present with the thenyear-old during the procedure, as well as failing to afford her proper privacy during the search.
The police minister for the state of New South Wales, David Elliott, acknowledged that officers had not always abided by standard procedures in conducting strip searches of children, which are legal if the circumstances are urgent and a parent or guardian is present. But he said that if drugs were uncovered in the process, parents would nonetheless be happy. Civil liberties advocates strenuously disagreed. They called the searches an invasive overstep of paternalistic police powers that leave psychological trauma. They also said laws allowing the tactic reflected a zero-tolerance drug policy that is doing more harm than good.