Splendour in the Grass rolled out over two glorious days in Byron Bay in July, 2018. More than 100 artists performed to around 30,000 mostly-young attendees.
A heavy contingent of NSW Police was also present. And, at an inquiry by the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) this week, a senior constable told Chief Commissioner Michael Adams QC that he had performed 19 strip-searches of Splendour attendees. The net catch: one Valium tablet.
Of course, the measure of success for policing practice should not necessarily be the size of the haul; speed cameras, for example, are purposed principally to deter, not catch. But we’re not talking about speed cameras; this is strip-searching, the practice of lawfully forcing people to undress and have their naked bodies inspected by a uniformed stranger.