Cop’s shock strip search admission
A police officer working at a Sydney underage music festival has admitted she didn't know minors being stripsearched were legally required to have a support person with them.
The female officer was questioned on Tuesday about a search at February's Lost City festival after which a 16-year-old boy claimed a male officer put his hands inside his underwear.
The female officer was not present, but was one of those who spoke to him and six other young people stopped at the event.
She also filled out paperwork afterwards. None of the young people were found to be in possession of drugs.
The woman told the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission she had only recently realised the distinction under the relevant Act between strip-searches of adults and young people.
"I understand you to be saying that when you read (the Act) recently and you saw that there were particular provisions relating to young people, did you think to yourself 'I didn't know that before'?" chief commissioner Michael Adams QC asked.
"Yes," replied the officer who was giving evidence to the inquiry via video link.
She had worked at previous festivals but was only involved in stripsearching adults.
The boy - who's told the commission in a statement that a male officer made contact with his genitalia and buttocks during the search - was among the group that was stopped after a security worker suspected a drug deal had taken place. No support person was present during the strip-search and the teen was thrown out of the festival at Sydney Olympic Park despite no drugs being found. The LECC has heard 31 teenagers were stripsearched at the February 23 event which had some 10,000 young people present.
Police paperwork shows only six were recorded as having had a guardian or support person present.