Greens slam police sniffer dogs


Greens MP Lee Rhiannon slammed the police operation at the Big Day Out, saying that the use of sniffer dogs against recreational drug users had put people's health in danger.

"In 2006, the NSW Ombudsman reported that young people are risking overdose or serious harm to their health in an attempt to avoid detection by sniffer dogs", Rhiannon said.

"Young people have been seen panicking and swallowing all their drugs at once when they see a sniffer dog operation. Police admitted to the NSW Ombudsman they keep ambulances close by to respond to potential overdoses."

The heavy presence of police with sniffer dogs has also been linked to the use of often more dangerous odourless drugs, with people using "ice" and other drugs rather than cannabis.

The 2005 Big Day Out operation led to one prosecution for supply of a young man to his girlfriend.

A summary of the Ombudsman's report released in September 2006, which criticised the use of police sniffer drug dogs can be found at < HREF="mailto:03.php"><03.php>.