Friday, January 17, 2020
Fiona Patten, Member for Northern Metro and Leader of the Reason Party, will today join other MP’s in launching High Alert, a campaign to end the use of sniffer dogs at music festivals and nightclubs.
Drug detection dogs are widely used at music festivals in Victoria despite evidence suggesting they incorrectly identify the presence of drugs 80% of the time and have little impact on major drug dealers. They have in fact, on many occasions lead to an increase in adverse health risks at these events.
“These sniffer dogs are wrong four-out-of-five times,“ said Ms Patten. “Imagine if speeding cameras were wrong that often? There would be public outrage. It’s time to stop the dogs.”
The campaign launch will hear from a panel of legal experts helping to inform people of their rights if stopped by police on the suspicion of drug possession.
Late last year the NSW Coroner advised to end the use of sniffer dogs by police for the purpose of drug possession, finding their use lead to ‘panic ingestion’ by Alex Ross-King which was a factor in her death.
“The Government argues they’re not as bad as NSW, but at least in NSW they have strict regulations and monitor the program,” said the Reason MP. “I have asked the government for stats on this and they cannot give me an answer. They don’t know if it even works.
“I just hope no one dies because the government is more concerned about optics than public safety”.
High Alert will launch at 24 Moons in Northcote tonight at 6:30PM.