In a somewhat disquieting piece of news, it turns out that the police can absolutely film your strip search – and, in fact, are ordered to do so.
This was a finding from a Freedom Of Information request from the Redfern Legal Centre, reported by the Guardian.
More specifically, the officer doing the strip searching shouldn’t have their body camera on – but a support officer should be present and have their camera on.
The FOI request followed reports in the Sydney Morning Herald that there were no clear guidelines for what circumstances warranted a strip search and the officers were taking it on themselves to decide without any other authorisation.
The document makes clear that people should have their privacy respected when police film their strip search, but that “A person’s privacy is not a sufficient reason to cease filming a strip search conducted in the lawful execution of an officer’s duty.”
“Standard operating procedures also ensure resulting footage cannot be seen by people without a lawful right to do so and that there is no unnecessary recording of a person’s private parts,” a spokesperson for NSW police said.
So you know, the police are determined that the nudity should be… what, tasteful?
And it’s understandable why this is required, as much for the stripping-person’s protection as any potential evidential reason.
However, we live in a time when police are being castigated for accessing people’s metadata without authorisation, as well as assisting pals to hunt down their ex-partners escaping domestic violence.
And in any case, the idea of the cops having nudie footage of people with zero recourse feels like a single hack or an accidental (or, for that matter, deliberate) data breach away from being a massive public issue.
And if history is any guide, that should happen in three, two…