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Breaking News US/Australia ll Police send dogs into Westfield to hunt for shoppers with drugs

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Two sniffer dog operations have been deployed in local shopping centres in an attempt to hunt down shoppers carrying drugs The police dogs were spotted at Westfield Hurstville in Sydney's south, and Macarthur Square shopping centre in the city's southwest at about 5 30pm on October 2The events were posted to the Facebook page Sniff Off – a community page designed to alert the public to sniffer dog operations in public places, run by Greens MP David Shoebridge 'It's no coincidence that the police are lurking outside JD Sports because the drug dog program deliberately targets young people,' Mr Shoebridge told Daily Mail Australia  'Young people are sick and tired of being under constant surveillance by the NSW police while they go about their daily lives catching public transport, seeing a band or meeting up with friends in the evening ' He also questioned the effectiveness of the dog searches, suggesting major drug peddlers aren't walking around shopping centres carrying illicit substances 'I'm not an expert on major drug dealers, but I have an idea they don't normally do their trade in busy shopping centres with wall-to-wall CCTV,' he said   Share this article Share 9 News reported drug searches cost taxpayers an estimated $1100 per hour, taking in to account NSW police operating procedures, the cost of using the dogs and the wage for the police officer A report by UNSW found 45 per cent of all recorded police strip searches, commonly associated with sniffer dogs, between 2017 and 2018 were of young people under the age of 25 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people accounted for between 22 1 and 23

1 per cent of people strip searched in police stations between 2016/17 and 2018/19  Researchers also found strip searches increased by 1,879 per cent over the last 10 years, 64 per cent of which produced no results 64  Members of the Sniff Off Facebook group took to the comments section to express their feelings 'Looks like I'll have to leave my drugs at home next time I go to buy sneakers,' mused one person 'Sydney, the one place in the world where you can cop a strip search while trying to go to the grocery store,' said another 'So confusing Could you spend my tax dollars on, I dunno, quieter garbage trucks, disability pensions, climate change initiatives, or even the b****y potholes?' asked some else   But the idea of sniffer dogs in a shopping centre made other commenters irate 'What the actual f*** Yesterday while I was going on a walk I sat at the bus stop and got fully strip searched shirt off all in front of 20 parents with kids at the park behind the bus stop,' shared one person 'This is outrageous! A shopping centre! An absolute waste of resources Can't even go shopping in NSW without being harassed,' exclaimed another   RLC solicitor Samantha Lee said the rise in strip searches indicates the law is not being applied as it is intended, as a last resort 'Strip searches are an invasive, humiliating and harmful process, and as such, should be only used in exceptional circumstances when no other alternative is available,' Ms Lee previously said in a statement NSW Police has previously told 9 News dog operations are 'intelligence-based and focus on locations where the use and supply of illicit drugs is known to have an increased prevalence'  Daily Mail Australia contacted NSW Police for comment

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