A teenage girl has told of the trauma she felt after being forced to strip and squat in front of police at a popular music festival, after a sniffer dog falsely singled her out.

The girl was 16 years old at the time and said she was "really scared" when she was strip-searched at the Splendour in the Grass festival in 2018.

According to the ABC, the girl told the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission that a female police officer wearing rubber gloves performed the search.

She originally thought she would be patted down but soon realised she would have to get naked after being asked to take off her denim jacket and shorts, and then her lace leotard.


"I couldn't believe this was happening to me. I could not stop crying. I was completely humiliated," she said.

The girl had to take off her underwear and lift up a pantyliner for the officer to inspect.

"She told me to squat on the ground. She then squatted down and looked underneath me."

She said she felt she could no longer trust police after the experience.

The Counsel Assisting the Commission noted that police regulations stated that a parent, guardian or support person must be present whenever a child between 10 and 18 is strip-searched.

She said the police did not have "untrammelled" right to do strip searches.

Of the 143 strip searches performed at the festival in 2018, police found drugs in only found 8.4 percent of cases.

The public inquiry comes just days after a NSW coroner's draft recommendations were leaked calling for pill testing and for police to stop using sniffer dogs at festivals.


The inquiry is set down for four days.

Police sniffer dogs at Splendour in the Grass at Byron Bay. Photo / Getty Images
Police sniffer dogs at Splendour in the Grass at Byron Bay. Photo / Getty Images