Three specially trained drug detection dogs cannot do their job because the Rann Government has not introduced legislation to give SAPOL the necessary powers, Shadow Police Minister Rob Lucas said today.
The three Labradors, Molly, Jay and Hooch, and their handlers are part of the Dog Operations Unit and were specially trained during June to September of this year.
“The Labradors are passive alert detection dogs (PADD) and are trained to detect cannabis, cocaine, heroine, amphetamines and ecstasy. It was intended that they could be used in open areas, such as Hindley Street, to monitor nightclubs and hotels where police suspect drug activity,” Mr. Lucas said.
These Labradors operate in the same manner as Customs dogs at airports – sitting when there is detection – and in addition to entertainment venues were to be used on public transport and at sporting venues.
Mr. Lucas said that police sources have confirmed the inability of these dogs to do the job they were trained to do, because the legislation has not been amended to give them the required powers.
“The Rann Government was warned months ago that the legislation had to change, but so far has not introduced any legislation,” he said.
With only about four more weeks of sitting this year, the earliest date for the legislation to pass would be in two months in early December.
“However, there is clearly a strong possibility the legislation might not pass until the early 2007 Parliamentary sittings.
“This is yet another drug law debacle for the Rann Government after a two year delay in drug driving test legislation and then discovering major loopholes and blunders in the legislation.
“It is clear that a much needed crackdown on drug use at entertainment venues has been held back by Rann Government inaction and incompetence,” he said.