6 January, 2014. 19:34
INGRID DOULTON | Community and social | Contact
In the wake of the 212 drug-related arrests at Sydney’s Field Day music festival on New Year’s Day, NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione has today announced that the state of NSW has been left with no choice but to retire the current model of dog-searching. Opting to introduce a new model to combat drug use and NSW music festivals – 3D body scanners.
The implementation looks to be both very time-consuming and very expensive. However, one police spokesperson feels it would send a strong message:
“The message we are sending is: either eat all your tablets out the front – or take a gamble with the 3D zapper. I can tell you, this thing never misses”
It is believed that the “blanket approach” to dealing with festival drug use has angered many punters – who argue that the severity of the “drug culture” tends to differ between each and every musical genre – many stating that they feel it would be unfair to scan elderly rock fans and Blues and Roots Festival in Byron over Easter – The NSW Police Force seem to to think it is very fair.
The state-enforced presence of 3D scanners at all registered music events in New South Wales looks to be a world first – having been trialled briefly in the United Kingdom – but pulled within weeks, after strong protests from both the community and civil rights groups.
In Australia, a country with far less regard for the rights of an individual, the scanners look like they are here to stay. But NSW insist it is not about revenue raising. “Look we aren’t here to try and slap fines and invade privacy… this is about the poor dogs, they have been flat out – the festivals are too much for them”
“Enough is enough. The drug culture in New South Wales is too big of a job for only a couple of dogs… we had one bloke found with 200 pingers in a condom up his backside. The only reason he got caught was because he became incontinent when the bass dropped during the Alt J set.”
Is is rumoured that the technology can perform routine internal searches as people find more creative ways to dodge the police dogs that often patrol the gates.
Frank L’aupofi, a security guard that was present on New Years Day, spoke to The Advocate about his experiences at field day:
“Yeah they hook us up with work to keep crowds back, but I spent half the day on my knees unclogging the toilets… they were so full of condoms. And I can promise you now that no one here was rooting – so you can only imagine what they were being used for.”
A range of activists and long-haired art students have taken to twitter in an attempt to half-heartedly protest the announcements, claiming the government intends to impeach on the civil liberties of the individual, however the Police Commissioner is standing firm:
“I don’t care what they do beforehand. I saw one kid that was so off his head he was out the front dancing to a beeping traffic light – the bottom line is that my dogs are getting burnt out.”
“We had to retire one of our best dogs at the age of four last night because he was so high on ecstasy from sniffing revellers all day, he started behaving in quite a hyper-sexualised manner”
“NSW Police Dogs will no longer patrol music festivals – we will keep them strictly for airports and train stations in the Western Suburbs.”
With the machines having a price tag well in excess of a million dollars, it remains to be seen as to who will fund the project, the police Force have confirmed that they will work alongside local governments to find a way in the immediate future, with hopes that the system is ready for Future Music Festival.
Professor Ingrid Doulton earned her PhD in women’s issues from the University of Sydney in 2012. She completed her undergraduate studies at La Trobe University in regional Victoria soon after completing high school. Immediately after, she began her Masters at The University of Canberra with her dissertation in women’s sport. She is chairwomen of the Women’s Literacy Foundation and a brand ambassador for Rexona. Prof. Doulton lives in Sydney’s upper north shore with her dog, Peter.