Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Drug sniffer dogs for SA nightclubs

Drug sniffer dogs will soon be allowed into nightclubs and other venues in SA.

A South Australian Government bill to allow police to use drug sniffer dogs in nightclubs and entertainment areas has passed the Upper House.

The legislation will now go to the Lower House for approval.

A person will be able to be searched if a sniffer dog gives police a reasonable suspicion that illegal drugs are being carried.

Upper House Democrats MP Sandra Kanck opposed the bill.

She said in New South Wales sniffer dogs had led to people being falsely accused.

"The New South Wales ombudsman, in looking at their legislation, queried whether it even ought to be in existence, that's how bad it is," she said.

"I can't believe that we are going to put this very, very flimsy tool in the hands of our police to effectively bail-up innocent citizens."

Ms Kanck says the error rate in NSW has been high, at 75 per cent.

"It gets it right 25 per cent of the time - we're picking up users, we're not actually getting to pick up the drug traffickers," she said.

"So, as is often the case with this government, it's picking on the wrong people."


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