Eight cases of child strip search have been referred to the police watchdog.


Eight more referrals have been made to the police watchdog to search the children’s strip.

According to the Metropolitan Police, the voluntary references relate to separate incidents between December 2019 and March 2022, where children between the ages of 14 and 17 were searched by detainees or subjected to “deeper searches outside of custody.” ۔

The Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) has returned two references to the force for investigation. The rest are still pending with the IOPC.

In response, we have already made a number of changes to the way we work to ensure that officers first consider the child and take a safety approach.

The three cases came after it was sent to the Watchdog. Officers found the two teenage girls, known as ChildQ and Olivia, while they were menstruating.

A third case, involving only a child known as Child A, was confirmed by Matt under investigation last month.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lawrence Taylor said: “We understand the shocking and lasting effects that this type of search can have on people, especially young people, and we understand the public’s concerns after a number of issues.

“In response, we have already made a number of changes to the way we work to ensure that officers consider the first child and take a safety approach. Complaints received regarding child strip searches are also being reviewed, including searches outside the detention environment where intimate organs are exposed.

“Detention searches and searches that expose the more intimate parts outside of detention are important in ensuring the safety of the person being sought, as well as protecting the community from drugs and weapons. And must be implemented in accordance with our policy.

“We have already confirmed that three cases have been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) for this important independent monitoring of how the police conducted these searches – these cases are ‘Child Q’. , Known as ‘Child A’ and ‘Olivia’. We have now given seven more voluntary references to the IOPC.

People protest outside the Stoke Newington Police Station in London over the treatment of child cue (Stephen Russo / PA) / PA wire

ChildQ was discovered by female Metropolitan Police officers in 2020 on suspicion of carrying cannabis to a school in East London.

The search was conducted without any other adult and a security report was found knowing that she was menstruating.

A local Child Safe Gardening Practice Review conducted by the City and Hackney Safe Gardening Children’s Partnership (CHSCP) concluded that strip search should never have been done, was unfair and racism was a potentially influential factor. “

Another unidentified young man, nicknamed Olivia by the BBC, was arrested on suspicion of robbery, and was found in possession of a sharp-edged stick and a small blade, intended for self-harm. It was said, his mother said. .

She forced six officers to search for the 15-year-old autistic man in front of his male colleagues, which shocked her, and the BBC reported that she later tried to kill herself.

Matt said updates since the ChildQuey report was published included refreshing officers on the “find more” policy, advising them on dealing with schools, and advising people under the age of 18. This involves changing the policy.

Officers now have to get permission from the inspector and talk to the supervisor before conducting a search. There must also be an adult.

An IOPC spokesman said: “Following our further inquiries with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) regarding child strip searches, we have received eight more complaints from the force.

“Voluntary references relate to separate incidents, which occurred between December 2019 and March 2022, where officers searched children between the ages of 14 and 17.

“We have determined that two of these references were suitable for local investigations by MPS, which was finalizing its investigation into them at the point of reference. We will review the available information. To determine what further action may be needed in relation to others.

A spokesman for the mayor of London said it was “shocking and disturbing” that so many cases of children being searched by police had been referred to the IOPC.

“The mayor is very concerned about these issues and City Hall has asked Matt to review all the children’s strip searches to make sure lessons are learned,” he said.

“It is absolutely true that these cases have now been referred; and the mayor will follow the results closely. The mayor’s office for policing and crime has also written to the inspector general of constables to draw their attention to the matter.” Will write

“The Mayor is fully committed to implementing any of the recommendations of the IOPC investigation and to holding MAT accountable for the changes and improvements it has made that all communities in London deserve.”