Thursday, May 18, 2006

Trawling with dogs

Ever been falsely accused by a sniffer dog? The author of this article, Amber Marks, is researching the (in)accuracy of dogs for her PhD, and has found one study from Australia that shows the dogs gave false positives a whopping 73% of the time. We're aware of a court case in the US where one of the expert witnesses opined that you might as well flip a coin when deciding whom to search. It seems, though, that the dogs' accuracy isn't important - they merely give an excuse for a stop and search.

Some younger ARCH members have had pretty distressing experiences with the police after being wrongly identified, and it hasn’t pleased them to read the comments of the British Transport Police spokesperson:

“On being indicated by the dog, persons are stopped and searched and a record made containing their personal details and a physical description. Later, if there is a report of a robbery, the police can go through those records to see if it matches any of the persons known to have been in the area".
Terrific, eh?

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