If A Sniffer Dog Thinks You Have Drugs You Will Be Kicked Out Of This Festival. Even If You Don’t.

    People aren't taking the news very well.

    People attending Sydney's Above & Beyond music festival this weekend will be denied entry by police if a sniffer dog indicates they have been in contact with drugs. Even if they don't have drugs on them at the time.

    Nsw Police / PR IMAGE

    In a statement released on Tuesday night South West metropolitan region commander, assistant commissioner Peter Thurtell, confirmed police will exclude anyone from the venue that a drug dog indicates has, or recently had, drugs on them.

    Facebook: nswpoliceforce

    “Quite simply, if you handle or use drugs you will not be permitted to remain at the venue," said Thurtell.

    “We encourage young people to come along and enjoy the event, we don’t want bad behaviour to spoil the atmosphere or create an unsafe environment."

    Greens NSW MP David Shoebridge criticised the planned police operation, explaining it wasn't an offence if a drug dog falsely indicated you were carrying drugs.

    "We have known for many years that between two-thirds and three-quarters of drug dog indications are false positives where people are not found to be carrying any drugs," he said in a statement.

    “It’s hard to see how this kind of action by police could be legal, seeing how it involves punishment in the absence of any offence."

    Police partook in a similar operation at another Sydney event last month. Shoebridge said those searched and found clear of drugs at Midnight Mafia in May were also refused entry.

    This is not the first time they have done this - police refused entry to people who were searched and found clear at Midnight Mafia last month. https://t.co/FN0HkbPqSh

    Police sniffer dog operations have been criticised in the past as a costly and frequently inaccurate form of detection.

    A NSW Police media spokesperson told BuzzFeed News the drug dog operation did not mean people would be kicked out of an event just because a dog sat next to them – saying police discretion and due process will still be followed.

    On Facebook, people were not too impressed with the announcement from police.

    Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.

    Contact Brad Esposito at bradley.esposito@buzzfeed.com.

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