Home Adult site Exposes strip searches of two 16-year-old boys to be investigated by IOPC Funds | Metropolitan Police

Exposes strip searches of two 16-year-old boys to be investigated by IOPC Funds | Metropolitan Police


Two other incidents involving the strip search of children by the Metropolitan Police will be investigated by its watchdog as the fallout from the Child Q case continues.

The investigations launched by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) both involve 16-year-old boys who were allegedly strip searched in police custody in 2020 without the presence of a suitable adult: one at the police station. Ilford Police Station in January and the other at Bethnal Green Police Station in October.

It comes after the IOPC Fund received 11 referrals from the Met relating to separate incidents between December 2019 and May 2022. All involved children aged 14 to 17, who were strip searched by officers in or out of custody.

In addition to the two referrals under investigation, the IOPC Fund said six others are amenable to local investigation by police forces, with the remaining three awaiting a decision on whether further action is required.

In total, the IOPC is investigating five incidents of children being strip searched by Met officers, including the 15-year-old black girl known as Child Q.

In March, revelations of Child Q’s treatment at a school in Hackney, east London sparked fury and protests. A child protection review initiated by Hackney Council revealed she was subjected to a strip search by police in December 2020 involving the exposure of private body parts, with racism believed to have been an ‘influencing factor’. Four Met officers are being investigated by the IOPC Fund for gross misconduct.

The IOPC Fund also recommended that the Met take “immediate action to ensure that any strip searches of children are carried out in accordance with relevant legislation, national guidelines and local policy”.

These guidelines state that the best interests of the child must be a primary consideration, that an appropriate adult must be present, and that the strip search of a child must be “conducted in a manner that preserves, to the extent possible , his dignity and his dignity”. takes into account their health, hygiene and well-being needs.

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Michael Lockwood, the IOPC Fund’s Director General, said: “We are concerned about what we have seen in cases brought to us regarding complaints about strip searches of children…

“Given the apparent delay in some of these cases referred to us, we will now work with the MPS [Met police service] review a sample of complaints…to determine if the process is working as it should.

“By coming together in this way, I hope we can address growing concerns about the use of strip search powers in England and Wales, to provide assurance that they are only used if absolutely necessary.”

A spokesman for the Met said it welcomed the IOPC Fund’s recommendations.