Uv bn bustd!
By BBC News – 22 May, 2002
Copyright: BBC News
A text message service that alerts Australians about the presence of drugs sniffer dogs in their area has infuriated the police.
The Sydney-based scheme is a stupid and irresponsible stunt, Police Minister Michael Costa told the Sydney Morning Herald.
The dog-watch is the brainchild of the News South Wales Council of Civil Liberties and the Redfern Legal Centre.
Together they have launched a web site, snifferdogalert.com, which tells dope heads how to stay ahead of the police dogs.
All drug fiends have to do is sign up to the SMS Dog Alert, and they will receive an SMS text message whenever there is a dog being used in their area, says the site.
And it asks for volunteers to lend a hand in spotting the police pooches.
“The best advice is don’t carry drugs on you. It is not worth the hassles or the criminal record if you get caught,” it warns.
However, the site on Wednesday revealed little activity on behalf of the drugs dogs. Either that or the spotters had been caught napping…
But just in case the temptation to carry drugs is irresistible, the site offers advice on how to flummox the “fuzz”.
“Wear chilli powder or juice (particularly habernero chillies) on your clothes and shoes,” it advises.
“Wrap your stash tightly then put it in another bag with vinegar.”
“Put your stash inside a full peanut butter jar.”
“If in a large group, get everyone to carry peppermint joints. A large number of smell sources can confuse a dog, and cause lots of dud searches.”
And finally it offers a suggestion on how to turn the tables on the police: “If you have a bit of time and old bong water – go on a spraying mission around your local station.”
The site, which apes the NSW police site, says that the use of police dogs is an “inappropriate use of police power at public expense”.
Mr Costa said that the drug dog spotters could destroy the police’s work, not just in drugs detection, but also in gun detection, which they also used dogs for.
But the NSW Council for Civil Liberties told the paper that he had been advised that the service was lawful.
“We’re not encouraging anyone to break the law,” said President Cameron Murphy.
“We’re telling people to comply with the law and we’re telling them where the police are enforcing it.
“We think we will be assisting police to do their job.”