NSW coroner says punitive policing tactics increase risk of drug deaths and calls for reform

Harriet Grahame also recommends pill testing and removing police drug dogs after inquest into the deaths of six young people
The Guardian (UK)
Friday, November 8, 2019

The use of high-visibility policing tactics such as drug dogs and “large scale” strip searching at music festivals “increases rather than decreases” the risks associated with drugs, the New South Wales deputy coroner has said. In landmark findings, Harriet Grahame recommended pill-testing be introduced and said she was satisfied there was “significant evidence” that “intensive and punitive drug policing operations” were increasing “drug-related risks and harm”.  The “wholesale practice of strip-searching young people” was of “grave concern”, and its use to target people suspected of drug possession was “out of line with the purposes” of the legislation. (See also: 'Faces of these young people will remain with me': Coroner urges sweeping changes on drugs)