The performance of a strip search by a police officer is a serious interference with the liberty and dignity of an individual. However, it is considered by police to be an important part of their law enforcement armory and one that is increasingly necessary to utilise to assist in the investigation and prosecution of drug-related crimes. This article considers the troublesome issue of whether and in what circumstances the common law may extend to police the power to conduct a strip search. In addition, there is an examination of the statutes and regulations that purportedly give police in Victoria the power to strip search with particular attention given to ss 81 and 82 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 (Vic).
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