The number of Indigenous people strip searched by New South Wales Police has jumped by 35 per cent in 12 months.
Data release yesterday by New South Wales Police found 340 First Nations people were striped searched in the 2022/23 financial year with 11 of those being under 18-years-old, including a 12-year-old.
The figures also show that Indigenous people are disproportionately affected, accounting for 14 per cent of searches but making up only 3-point-4 percent of the New South Wales population.
The Redfern Legal Centre says the New South Wales Government needs to immediately pause strip-searching of Indigenous children and needs to discuss it at the State’s proposed drugs summit.
The data also found that in total there 31 searches of young girls aged 17 or younger.
Of those searches, 20 per cent of them were Indigenous.
Senior Solicitor at the Redfern Legal centre, Samantha Lee has told Vice News it’s unacceptable.
“The significant increase in strip-searching girls is a matter of huge concern.
Evidence demonstrates how traumatising such an invasive search can be.
The sheer number of strip searches indicates the law is not being applied as intended by NSW Parliament, which intended it to be a last resort.
Strip searches constitute an invasive, humiliating, and harmful process and should only be used in exceptional circumstances when no other alternative exists.”