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Report overview:

  • Chapter 1 sets out the history of the Inquiry, which commenced in October 2018. The chapter outlines the various Commission investigations into strip searches conducted by police officers in NSW, as well as police investigations overseen by the Commission.
  • Chapter 2 sets out changes to strip search practices, policy and other instructions that the NSW Police Force has implemented over the course of the Inquiry.
  • Chapter 3 takes a detailed look at the threshold requirements that must be satisfied before an officer can lawfully strip search a person, what our investigations revealed about how these thresholds have been interpreted in practice, and what improvements in policy and practice are needed to increase compliance with the law.
  • Chapter 4 considers the police practice of requiring a person to squat or move their genitals during a strip search. It also considers whether it is lawful for police to physically force a person to squat or open their legs during a strip search or even to remove a person’s clothing during a strip search.
  • Chapter 5 looks at police practices for strip searching at music festivals. While police have no distinct statutory powers in relation to strip searches at music festivals, these events involve coordinated and pre-planned police operations, often supported by drug detection dog warrants.
  • Chapter 6 considers strip searches of young people. A focus within this chapter is the expert opinion sought by the Commission as a result of Operation Gennaker about the psychological impacts of being strip searched on young people.
  • Chapter 7 considers some of the practical issues around maintaining privacy and dignity when strip searches are conducted in the field, focussing on searches in caged vehicles and at pre-planned operations.
  • Chapter 8 considers evidence and information which reflects the way police have been educated and trained in relation to their strip search powers, along with the new initiatives being introduced to reinforce the appropriate use of strip search powers.
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