More than 5,000 people have registered their mobile phone numbers with www.snifferdogalert.com, despite efforts from the NSW Police Service to force the controversial new website off-line.
Featuring a free SMS dog alert service, the website was launched last week by the NSW Council for Civil Liberties (NSWCCL) in conjunction with Redfern Legal Centre, and has been averaging a staggering 14,000 hits a day.
NSWCCL president Cameron Murphy told Sydney Star Observer that the service completely complies with the law and has become the most popular website in Australia.
We even have offers flooding in from companies who want to advertise on the site because of the huge number of hits, Murphy said.
One of the problems has been the site going down -“ given the publicity, it’s not that surprising. So we’re in the process of moving it to a different server so that it can cope.
Although Police Minister Michael Costa has been advised the website is not illegal, he continues to oppose the messaging system that alerts subscribers to the location of sniffer dogs.
Murphy is not surprised by Costa’s negative response.
I don’t think the minister has got an understanding of the issues and the depth of community concern about sniffer dogs. We have actually offered on several occasions to discuss his concerns about the site and the wider problem of sniffer dogs. But he has just snubbed us, Murphy said.
If he was willing to look at the whole issue of drug sniffing dogs, we may be able to come to some sort of a compromise. Even if that involves shutting the site down.