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Sydney, Australia: Dogs to search for drugs on most trains
    #2603715 - 04/26/04 06:19 AM (14 years, 1 month ago)


Dogs to search for drugs on most trains
By Jim O'Rourke
April 25, 2004

Sniffer dogs will be allowed to roam almost every train carriage running on the City Rail metropolitan network, randomly checking all passengers for drugs, when new regulations come into effect on Friday.

The North Shore line, running from Berowra to Central, has been added to other train lines where officers do not need a warrant to search for illicit drugs, Police Minister John Watkins announced yesterday.

Handlers and their dogs will now be able to search passengers on train services running as far south as Bomaderry, north to Newcastle and west to Penrith.

Drug detection dogs will also check passengers at terminals and bus stops on the Sydney-Albury bus route on the Hume Highway and the Sydney-Grafton route on the Pacific Highway. Police will still need a warrant to search passengers on the buses.

When the sniffer dog regulations were introduced on Sydney's trains in February 2002, president of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties Cameron Murphy said the Government was "selling the public a pup" if it claimed the measures would have any serious impact on the drug trade.

"They're targeting people at the bottom end of the drug pyramid, people who are users," Mr Murphy said. "Someone carrying a small amount of cannabis on a suburban train will be picked up, while the dealer driving around the North Shore in his BMW is not going to be affected at all."

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