The NSW police commissioner says he's personally overseeing a review of how the force conducts strip-searches after the police watchdog said it was considering whether unlawful searches of minors could be considered indecent assaults.
A month ago Mick Fuller backed his officers following criticism of how they conducted searches and went so far as to say young people "need to have respect and a little bit of fear for law enforcement".
But now the commissioner says he's looking forward to the police watchdog handing down its report into the issue and he's conducting his own review as well.
"I'm personally overseeing a review into strip-searches of young people," Mr Fuller told reporters on Wednesday.
"I need to make sure that young people, and the safeguards that are there for them, are being used by police on every occasion.
"There's been evidence where that hasn't happened. I couldn't take that more seriously."
The commissioner said the force knew it needed "to do this better" and had already made a number of changes.
But, he added, NSW was a very safe state "and we should be proud of the work the NSW Police force men and women do every day".
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Wednesday she was pleased to hear Mr Fuller was reviewing operations "to make sure police follow the letter of the law".
"What the government and the police commissioner need to ensure is that every police officer ensures those procedures are followed in the appropriate circumstances," she told reporters.
The Redfern Legal Centre, which has been calling for an overhaul of strip-search practices, says it welcomes Mr Fuller's review.
"To provide guidance for police in this area, and to protect young people from harm, Redfern Legal Centre would also like to see clear and accountable child protection principals embedded within strip-search legislation," the centre said in a statement.
Strip-searches in NSW have been scrutinised this year by a coronial inquest and the state's Law Enforcement Conduct Commission.
The police watchdog has heard evidence that police officers have conducted inappropriate searches and unlawful examinations of minors without a support person present.
The LECC is considering whether unlawful strip-searches should be classed as indecent assaults.
Australian Associated Press