Naked detention appalling

14 Aug 2009 archivemedia

The Opposition has called for an immediate stop to strip searches and naked detention of women by male police officers if allegations made public today are found to be true.

Shadow Attorney-General Vickie Chapman said stripping of female suspects by male police officers was totally unacceptable and the practice should be immediately stopped and officers involved counselled.

“A female accused who has been taken in to custody cannot be stripped by a male.

“It is indecent and simply unacceptable.

“I understand people may try to harm themselves and on some occasions clothing could be used, but any removal of clothing cannot be done in front of, or by a male officer.

Shadow Minister for Women Michelle Lensink echoed Ms Chapman’s sentiments.

“We have very specific legislation and instructions which allow exemptions from ordinary discrimination requirements, to allow women to undertake body searches of females and there is no legal impediment to them being used.*

“We require specialised police officers to interview rape victims and children who are victims of crime, so there is no excuse for female accused not to be afforded the same level of respect and treatment.

“We have a Minister for Women who is responsible for speaking and representing women’s needs and rights but she remains silent on this matter.

*S.34 (2) Equal opportunity Act 1984