An image claimed to be a drug dog operation at a Sydney public pool that lit up social media over the weekend has been revealed as nothing of the sort.
The image shows the police bomb squad doing a routine sweep of the pool during the G20 in 2014 ahead of an official visit by a foreign delegation to the pool.
There were no drug dogs or police drug operations undertaken at the pool NSW Police told SBS.
“(That image) it was from 2014 and part of the police security operation surrounding G20,” a police spokesman said.
“It was not related to a drug operation at that location. It was a routine check.”
The original image was posted to Facebook last Friday afternoon as a grainy screen shot of an Instagram post showing sun bakers at Sydney Council’s Boy Charlton Pool with police and a dog walking by the pools edge with identifying details blacked out on the Instagram post.
The post was quickly shared hundreds of times on Facebook and spread to twitter and Reddit, with many expressing disbelief that a police sniffer dog would enter a public pool.
A number of media outlets including the Daily Mail Australia and 2DayFM picked up the story of drug dogs patrolling a public pool.
The police spokesman confirmed a number of other outlets had contacted police about the image but dropped the story when the were told it was not a drug related operation.
The image comes at a time when the role of Police and the NSW Government in what many call the “nanny state” and government overreach in people’s lives is under intense debate following a number of unrelated incidents largely driven by social media.
Yesterday NSW Premier Mike Baird took to Facebook to try and counter criticism of his Government’s policies.
Post by Mike Baird on Monday, February 8, 2016.
“Let’s start with a statistic about Sydney’s nightlife that matters: alcohol related assaults have decreased by 42.2 per cent in the CBD since we introduced the “lock-out laws,” stated the post.
“…There has been a growing hysteria this week about nightlife in Sydney.
The post received received more than 10,000 comments many criticising the Premier as hypocritical because certain venues including James Packer’s coming casino at Barangaroo and the Star casino are both exempt from the lockout laws.
I might not be able to get a bottle at the shops but I can get this meme #casinomike pic.twitter杭州桑拿会所,/Qq6AOtF1uh
— Eliza Beminelage (@verbaliza) February 9, 2016
On the weekend the questioning of the manager of a restaurant by NSW Police over its wine list because it promoted “unsavoury behaviour” created more commentary and criticism of the NSW government.
Giovanni Paradiso, co-owner of Sydney restaurant 10 William Street, expressed incredulity after police allegedly spoke with the bar manager and took issue with some of the contents of the wine list and its position in the bar.
“So according to. (sic) NSW POLICE FORCE our blackboard with what we are pouring by the glass is promoting unsavory (sic) antisocial behavior SYDNEY WHAT THE F*** IS HAPPENING” he wrote.
This all comes after an online essay about the death of Sydney’s nightlife at the hands of NSW Government policies exploded online last week.
In the piece CEO of Freelancer杭州桑拿会所, Mark Barrie wrote: “Something pernicious has happened in the 15 years since, and Sydney has not just regressed into a ghost town, but there is an undercurrent of something much more sinister in the way the city is being run. As I write this in 2016, not a day goes by without the press reporting of yet another bar, club, hotel, restaurant or venue closing.”
The essay Would The Last Person in Sydney Please Turn The Lights Out, appears to have struck a nerve, having been and shared many times online and picked up by major media outlets.