There are many things we watch in police shows that we take as gospel. Lie detectors, bullet analysis, sniffer dogs and the list goes on. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your circumstances, the actual effectiveness of many of these “methods” is arbitrary, subjective and generally rather poor.
Lets take sniffer dogs for instance. Their usefulness to police is unquestionable but unfortunately the actual realities aren’t so favourable. Last year on the ABC site Amy Simmons brought up results of sniffer dogs being terribly ineffective in the job they do. As high as four in five positive “sniffs” were revealed to have been false.
Well you ask, that’s still not a problem really is it? They still have a twenty percent chance of catching someone! Well tell that to those 80% who were potentially forcibly searched, detained and generally inconvenienced due to inaccurate readings. Its not fair, is a violation of what should be steadfast civil liberties and should not be tolerated.
I bring this up largely as a response to Greg Barn’s article outlying much of these ideas but particularly focusing on the usage of dogs in festivals to specifically combat the usage of party drugs. Why are we continuing such a “war on drugs” when only a handful of people are even being punished out of the many thousands who attend these festivals?
This country has a rather sorry love affair with slowly allowing our rights to be eroded because “it does not really effect me”. How much longer should we put up with allowing a woefully inadequate system to function when it has the power to arbitrarily search anyone effectively? Perhaps no longer.