We hope you’ll forgive the infrequent posting this week; all but one of the Chorus are based in Melbourne and we’re currently in the middle of a 100-year heatwave! It’s not condusive to particularly rational or eloquent thought, but I could certainly tell heat-stress from pure rage when I read this story this morning: a woman, eight months pregnant, has been forced to undergo a stripsearch – in full public view – in a Queensland bottleshop after staff became suspicious that she was shoplifting:
A 40-year old Ipswich woman, who was eight-and-a-half months’ pregnant, was forced to lift her shirt after being wrongly accused of shoplifting at the Springfield Lakes 1st Choice Liquor store on Monday.
The woman, who was taking her time with her purchase, was buying a birthday present for a friend.
The distraught woman was told if she refused the search in full view of other customers, police would be called.
Queensland Consumer Watch spokesman and Ipswich Councillor Paul Tully described the incident as totally appalling and an invasion of individual rights.
“This is a matter for the police, not voyeurs working in liquor stores forcing pregnant women to undertake partial strip searches in front of other beady-eyed customers,” he said.
Incredible! The store’s feeble excuse for the gross invasion of privacy was that there had been an incident a week or so earlier when a shoplifter posed as a pregnant woman in order to cart out stolen goods.
I’m completely zonked from heat right now and my knowledge of the intricacies of Queensland law in these instances is limited; can any Sunshine State readers shed any light on whether this is even legal?