Constituency Question: Sniffer Dogs


Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — My question is to the Minister for Police and is in relation to Operation Safe Night, where sniffer dogs are being used on Chapel Street to address illegal drug use. This operation follows several people dying earlier this year after taking drugs, some in clubs in the Prahran electorate.

A New South Wales Ombudsman investigation revealed that these dogs only have a 26 per cent success rate in detecting a person carrying drugs, meaning that around three-quarters of searches result in no drugs being found. The report also found that to avoid detection, drug users engaged in risky behaviour, such as taking large amounts of drugs at once instead of taking smaller amounts over a period of time, taking drugs at home and then driving and switching to potentially more harmful drugs in the belief that these drugs will not be detected by sniffer dogs.

The government has already ruled out releasing potentially life-saving information about the contents of drugs seized. Considering the appallingly low success rate of these dogs and their potential to cause harm, can the minister explain how the use of sniffer dogs in the Prahran electorate will address illicit drug use and keep the public safe.