Greens NSW police spokeswoman Sylvia Hale has lashed out at sniffer dog tactics, just weeks before the Mardi Gras season begins.

Hale, who last year raised questions over the police presence at Sleaze Ball with Police Minister Michael Daley, has again questioned the effectiveness of sniffer dog operations.

“Based on conviction rates, police sniffer dog operations are a waste of public money and a waste of police time,” Hale said.

“Police should concentrate on real crime and alcohol-related violence and stop treating ordinary people as criminals.”
Hale placed the failure rate of sniffer dogs at 75 percent while she maintained conviction rates were low.

“The dogs are not catching people with indictable amounts of drugs and they rarely detect anyone with heroin. Yet the statutory purpose of the dogs is to identify drug suppliers.

“It is absurd to suggest that major drug dealers will sit around in a pub with large quantities of drugs on them. The only way to bust the larger dealers is through proper police work.

“As for actual convictions, the figure is small because most people are found with a small amount of cannabis and receive a caution.”

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