Being strip searched by the police can be intrusive, humiliating and harmful. But the law provides no other criteria to guide police. In a non-policing context, having to perform such non-consensual acts would constitute a serious assault. This is why strip searches are meant to be a last resort and only used in serious and urgent circumstances. But strip searches are on the rise in New South Wales. Read more: Six reasons Australia should pilot 'pill testing' party drugs.
Watch: Disturbing footage of police strip searching Aboriginal man in public
Aboriginal elder publically 'strip-searched' | Te Ao Māori News
A strip search is a practice of searching a person for weapons or other contraband suspected of being hidden on their body or inside their clothing, and not found by performing a frisk search , by requiring the person to remove some or all of his or her clothing. The search may involve an official performing an intimate person search and inspecting their personal effects and body cavities mouth, vagina, anus etc. A strip search is more intrusive than a frisk and requires legal authority. Regulations covering strip searches vary considerably, and may be mandatory in some situations or discretionary in others.
Aboriginal elder publically 'strip-searched'
The incident occurred last Wednesday in Adelaide. One thing that is very clear from the video is that the police began a strip search of an Aboriginal man on a public street. When they realised they were being filmed, they escorted the man into the garage of a nearby house.
A man was reportedly ordered to drop his trousers and underpants in the street by a group of police officers during an identity check. The incident follows a surge in crime in the area in recent months. Under the headline "Guantanamo images in the centre of Athens" the newspaper Ethnos showed six pictures of a man stripping in front under the gaze of passers-by. Local media say the area around Omonia Square, where the incident took place,has in recent years been turned into a ghetto where drug trafficking and prostitution by young African women have become "out of control".