A total of nearly 600 people under the age of 18 were searched where intimate parts were exposed by officers between 2018 and 2021.
The figures were collected amid controversy over the case of Child Q, a 15-year-old black schoolgirl who was disqualified from an exam when two police officers mistook her for marijuana and was searched. consider stripping while menstruating without proper certification. adult gift.
Caroline Russell, a Green Party member of the London Council who obtained the data from the force, said she was bothered by the number of children being searched by police, suggesting they “should be involved”. with youth officers, not the police.”
The figures reveal that four children between the ages of 10 and 12 have been searched where their intimate parts were exposed over the past four years. An additional 135 young people aged 13 to 15 years old, and 452 young people aged 16 or 17 years old, were also searched by police during the same period from 2018 to the end of 2021.
Strip searches are all done under tracing and containment – where the child may not be caught.
Ms Russell said: “The police have a great deal of power that allows them to stop and find and hunt down Londoners.
“There may be some circumstances where this is needed, but Londoners and us policemen need an urgent conversation about how these powers are used in relation to tracking children.” The Met says it follows the College of Policing’s national guidelines and codes of practice for all types of searches.
It is reviewing its policy on private searches for under-18s in relation to the Child Q case and is recommending a pilot in Hackney and Tower Hamlets, where an inspector will need approval. before a search takes place.
Habib Kadiri, from the prevention and search campaign group StopWatch, called the act barbaric and said it should stop. Searches where intimate parts are exposed are usually conducted by an officer of the same sex and cannot take place in public. Anyone under the age of 18 being searched must be accompanied by an adult.
When incarcerated, they are done in a cell with no CCTV, and detainees are not required to remove all of their clothing at once, exposing only a portion at a time.
Child Q’s case sparked an outcry last month when a defense report revealed the girl’s ordeal in December 2020. We reported yesterday the girl’s principal. resigned due to “health problems”. During the search, teachers remained outside the school infirmary when she was asked to take off her clothes while on her period.
The drug was not found. Two female officers were removed from frontline duty while the Independent Office of Police Conduct completed a report. An investigation found that racism may have been an “influential factor” in the search. Figures show that last year, police carried out 4,286 searches of the tape. Blacks make up a third of them.
To perform a more thorough search, an officer must reasonably suspect that he or she is using a garment to conceal an illegal item. Scotland Yard said: “We know the long-term impact any search can have and we must give full attention to the dignity and welfare of the person sought.”