Do you believe you have been illegally strip-searched? Are you currently in danger of being illegally strip-searched?
At O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors, we specialise in civil litigation for police misconduct, including for unlawful strip searches. The firm has substantial litigation experience against the NSW Police for unlawful abuses of police powers.
Unlike class actions, we provide a respectful, personalised service which focuses on you and your claim.
Unlawful strip searches seem to disproportionately affect young people and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The NSW Police can often get it wrong when deciding whether a strip-search is lawful.
What Are NSW Police’s Power to Strip Search?
The NSW Police may conduct strip searches, but most do so following strict legal guidelines. These guidelines state the strip searches
- Police can only perform a strip search in specific circumstances, including where the urgency and seriousness of the situation make such a search necessary.
- They must conduct the search in a way that preserves the privacy and dignity of the individual during the search.
- If performed on an individual under the age of 18 the police must conduct it in the presence of a parent, guardian or non-police invigilator.
- Police cannot strip search a person under the age of 10.
- Must not involve a search of a person’s body cavities or examination of the body by touch.
- Only officers of the same gender as the searched person may observe that individual
If a strip search does not adhere to these guidelines, it may be unlawful.
Damning Strip Search Inquiry by the LECC
A recent enquiry by the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) revealed widespread misuse of the strip search powers by the NSW Police Force.
In its investigation, the LECC uncovered hundreds of strip searches that did not adhere to legal requirements. The investigation found that many unlawful searches involved humiliating and denigrating practices, such as requesting:
- people to squat,
- move their testicles or breasts,
- or part their buttocks cheek during searches.
Our lawyers can represent your Strip Search claim
Individuals who are unlawfully strip-searched are legally entitled to civil compensation from the State of NSW.
We have represented many individuals in their pursuit of justice against unlawful strip searches. You can read about two of those cases including a strip search after arrest at a demonstration and a strip search including assault, battery and false imprisonment.
If you believe you have been strip-searched unlawfully, or are in danger of being strip-searched, speak to one of our civil lawyers who can advise you on your legal options. Call us on (02) 9261 4281 to book a free initial consultation.