An active police operation was underway at Sydney’s Central station during the peak hour rush – with commuters being subjected to strip searches behind screens on the platform as they search for illegal drugs.
At least 15 police and their sniffer dogs were seen roaming the busy station on Wednesday, pulling up terrified commuters suspected of being in possession of drugs.
Police were seen performing strip searches behind two privacy screens that were set up near the main entrance to Sydney’s biggest station.
Police were also seen performing strip searches behind temporary screens that have been set up
The moderator of Greens administered social media page Sniff Off – informing the public of of police drug dog operations – told Daily Mail Australia there were at least 15 officers and their dogs roaming during rush hour.
New South Wales Police told Daily Mail Australia the cubicles weren’t strip searching tents.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
Strip searches are constrained under the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002.
The act says strip searches occur where it is deemed ‘necessary and urgent’.
Police don’t need a warrant to do sniffer dog operations in parts of major cities or on the public transport network, such as Central Station.
Once the operation is set up, police ‘use their own peculiar indicators to work out who they will search,’ Greens MP David Shoebridge said.
Police need additional ‘reasonable doubt’ to search members of the public.
‘The NSW Police Force regularly patrol our train station and it is common practice to erect privacy screens for the purpose of a search,’ a spokesperson said.
‘These operations are conducted on a regular basis and often utilise privacy screens,’ another statement said.
NSW Police couldn’t confirm whether or not anyone had been searched at Central Station as it was dependent on whether the sniffer dogs had found anything suspicious.
Police didn’t elaborate on the outcome of the operation but said the operation is run regularly throughout the city.
Commuters took to social media to slam the police action – questioning why they should be subjected to invasive searches on the way home from work.
‘Strip search tents’ at the railway station. Where am I living?,’ one person wrote.
‘Strip search tents, is this actually for real? People can’t even go to work without the possibility that they may have to strip naked, squat and cough.’
An active police operation is currently underway at Central station, in Sydney’s CBD
‘And at least two-thirds of those searched will be innocent,’ another said.
Greens NSW MP David Shoebridge called the operation ‘sickening’.
‘Imagine being on your way home from work and being stop by police with their drug dogs and strip searched in a tent on a station platform,’ Mr Shoebridge wrote.
‘This isn’t some dystopian future, this is happening right now in Sydney. This is sickening.’