Proposed Bill takes police powers over children too far
31 May 2001
"I fear that we will see a repeat in the over-use of police powers if this Bill is successful," Ms Calvert said.
"Independent monitoring by the Ombudsman on the use of police powers demonstrates that children and young people have been overwhelmingly targeted in 'moving on' and 'knife search powers' that in many instances were unjustified.
"These findings were published in November 1999 in its report, Policing Public Safety. It was tabled 12 months ago in Parliament and there has been no action on its 41 recommendations.
"I'm also concerned that under this Bill children are being treated like criminals when the real focus should be on the criminality of the drug pushers.
"If a child has concealed drugs within their body, they are victims of assault and the real culprits are the abusive third parties who have most likely coerced, bribed and threatened them to carry drugs in the first place.
"I will be raising with the Government my concern that under the proposed Bill it is possible for an internal search to be carried out on a child by someone other than a medical practitioner.
"Because of the possibly adverse health implications of using x-rays and MRI on young growing bodies, especially when they may be used on children's developing sexual organs, it is essential that these decisions be undertaken by trained medical practitioners who can offer appropriate support and care," Ms Calvert said.