Are Drug Sniffer Dogs “Effective”?


Effective is an interesting word here.  If “effective” means do drug sniffer dogs have a low false positive rate when searching for drugs, then the answer is not only “no” it’s “oh hell no!”.  But according to Don Weatherburn, the director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, “effective” means nothing of the sort.  Apparently, by justifying the ritual humiliation of random citizens, the use of drug sniffer dogs prevents people from carrying drugs and is therefore “effective”.  Quote: “The question is how many people would carry drugs if not for sniffer dogs”.  It is likely true that ritual humiliation serves as a deterrent, but this is hardly a sound basis for a society which values dignity and freedom.

Increasingly, I’m thinking that our society regards human dignity and freedom not as blessings endowed upon us by our creator (That’s religious nutbaggery that only idiot Americans subscribe to dont you know) but as outmoded concepts which stand in the way of law and order.

Outmoded concepts aside, drug sniffer dogs are used to create an “articulable suspicion” that the individual might be in possession of drugs.  I’d be fascinated to learn if, legally speaking, there is any need for the “articulable suspicion” have a greater than 25% likelihood of being accurate.

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