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News October 19, 2017

Police sniffer dogs cost taxpayers an obscene amount of money

Police sniffer dogs cost taxpayers an obscene amount of money

It goes without saying (although, boy have we said it, and said it) that police hitting up music festivals with packs of sniffer dogs is a dangerous, exorbitant, and largely-ineffective practice.

Today, the Greens have released figures — based on the NSW Police Standard Operating Procedures and cost-recovery rate — that show just how wasteful this practice is.

Just three police sniffer dogs, working at a music festival, costs taxpayers an obscene $6,000 a hour.

As they break it down, “This means if each dog spends 6 hours at a festival it’s a total cost of $36,041, and if there are 20 festival a year that’s a whopping cost of $720,828.”

“This is on top of the $9 million annual cost of the NSW police detection dog unit that conducts warrantless searches at train stations, pubs and clubs and gets it wrong up to 80% of the time”, they add.

Greens MP and Justice Spokesperson David Shoebridge breaks it down further, below:

  • Every time you see a dog at a festival that’s $2000 per hour.
  •  $2000 per hour for a dog who will 60 to 80 percent of the time sniff out someone who is not carrying any drugs. $6000 per hour for an operation to subject festival goers who are not carrying drugs to strip searches.
  •  $6000 per hour for an operation that will mostly catch people carrying only small amounts of drugs.
  • $36000 per festival to have little to no impact on the availability and consumptions of drugs.
  • $36000 per festival to encourage people to take all their drugs at once, in advance, use drugs thought to be less detectable or just buy drugs inside the venue.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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