A POLICE officer allegedly said she’d make a strip search “nice and slow” if a Sydney music festival attendee didn’t tell her where she was hiding drugs.
The patron, who cannot be identified, gave evidence on Thursday during the inquest into the deaths of six young people at NSW music festivals between December 2017 and January 2019.
She said she rarely drank and never took illicit drugs so was surprised when a sniffer dog picked her out as she entered Knockout Circuz three or four years ago.
The woman teared up as she told the inquest she was ushered into a room, where a female police officer was waiting.
Despite saying she had no drugs on her, the woman said the officer said: “The dogs are never wrong so just tell me where the drugs are.”
After the officer asked again what she was hiding and why she was nervous, the woman says she had never been in a situation like a strip search.
“I had to take my top off and my bra,” the woman told the inquest.
“I covered my boobs and she told me to put my hands up and she told me to tell her where the drugs were.
“I told her I didn’t have any.
“She said ‘If you don’t tell me where the drugs are, I’m going to make this nice and slow’.”
The patron was told to remove all her shorts and underwear, squat and repeatedly cough.
A search of the woman’s bag uncovered her boyfriend’s wallet, which the police officer took outside the room and handed to another person.
“She opened the door while I was still naked and handed the wallet to someone else and made me stand there for a bit.”
The festival patron said she was strip-searched at another festival where, again, no drugs were found.
“You’re humiliated. The way I was spoken to (when strip-searched) was like I’d done something wrong,” she said.
She said she liked the production and music of hard-style music events but no longer attended Australian music festivals, as the amount of police and security made her feel anxious and “like a criminal sometimes”.
According to NSW parliament documents, drugs were only found in 36 per cent of the 1124 strip searches prompted by sniffer dogs in 2017.
The woman also spoke about witnessing Nathan Tran, one of the focuses of the inquest, fall over on his face at Knockout Circuz about 10.20pm on December 16, 2017.
The 18-year-old man was “almost limp” as security guards lifted him and carried him to a medical tent.
Mr Tran later started thrashing, was handcuffed and transported to Westmead Hospital, where doctors recorded his core temperature at 41C.
He was dead by 1am.
© AAP 2019