According to the Law when police strip-search a child, they are legally required to make sure what is described as AN designated “appropriate adult” is present- unless there is an urgent risk of serious harm. For example where the child might harm themselves or others around them, perhaps if they are carrying a weapon.
Met Police data showed of 650 strip-searches of children from 2018 to 2020, almost a quarter took place without an appropriate adult present and more than half of those searched were black boys. Black Children only make up 19% of the population in London making it a disproportionately alarming statistic.
The data was requested by Dame Rachel de Souz, England Child Commissioner after details of the “Child Q” incident became public in March, The confirmed that the strip-search of the black girl by police at school in east London was not an isolated case.
The 15 year old pupil known as Child Q was a pupil of a school in Hackney, suspected of having cannabis on her she was taken out of her exam to the medical room and with a parent present she was strip searched by two female officer while the teacher remained out the room, the girls intimate part where exposed and she was asked to remove her sanitary towel. No drugs were found on her person and the school did not call her parents.
Four officers are now facing investigation and have been served with gross misconduct of Child Q. A safeguarding report published in March said that the strip search was “unjustified” and likely to be racially motivated.
The police have a consultation coming called The Met is Listening here is a link to attend. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-met-is-listening-tickets-386842886487?aff=ebdssbeac&keep_tld=1
A time for Londoners to have their say.
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