childrenCommissioner for England condemned the Metropolitan Police. record on child protection after new data showed that 650 children strip searched over two-year period, and most of them were found be innocent of suspicions against them.
Dame Rachel de Souza said she was not convinced that force “consistently considered children’s well-being and welfare” after police data showed that in nearly quarter of cases (23%), an appropriate adult was not present during the search, despite the fact that this was required in accordance with legislative guidelines.
She was also concerned by ethnic disparity after the data showed that of children aged 10 to 17 years who subjected to strip searches between 2018 and 2020, nearly three out of five (58%) were blackas described by the officer. In 2018 alone, this figure rose to 75%. In Greater London 19% of 10- to 17-year-old black.
De Souza interrogated how far it’s “compulsive and traumatic” practice was necessary after the figures showed that in 53% of cases, no further action was taken. “This low level of successful searches may indicate that this obsessive practice may well be unjustified or necessary in all cases.”
Her damning report, published on Monday, also expressed concern about the “lack of of appropriate supervision” of police practice surrounding strip searches after data showed that in one in five cases were not way of knowing where it’s even took place.
From 269 searches in 2021 for which the location of the search was recorded, 57% took place in the police station and 21% in home address. de Sousa’s report says 22% happened in another location but, “due to poor quality of record practice no, it’s not possible to determine where these searches took place”.
The data showed the number of search queries have increased between 2018 and 2020, with eighteen% of all searches completed out in 2018, 36% in 2019 and 46% in 2020. Almost everything of in children strip searches (95%) were boys, and quarter were 15 years of age or younger.
The Commissioner launched her investigation after widespread outrage over happening of Child K., 15-year- old schoolgirl who was subjected to a strip search by female officers of the Met in 2020 after being wrongly suspected of wore cannabis at her school in east London.
The search for undress prompted the days of protests in Hackney after it emerged that a schoolgirl had been searched without another adult and in knowing that she is menstruating. Her parents did not contact.
De Souza said she was “deeply shocked and concerned” after requesting data from the Meteorological Police using her powers under the Children and Families Act. “I also very much concerned manifested ethnic disproportion in these figures, especially given that ethnicity was defined as key factor in Case of child Q.
“I’m not sure what happened to Baby Q was an isolated incident. issuebut instead I think this can be a particularly important example of a more systemic problem around the child protection in the Metropolitan Police. I remain not convinced that the Metropolitan Police are consistently considering children’s well-being and welfare.” She is now plans get the same data from all police forces.
Revelations in report led to allegations of Met involvement in “state-sanctioned” child abuse and dehumanization of children and another example of institutional racism that plagues Britain’s biggest force.
Deborah Coles of The investigation stated: “This report concerns state-sanctioned child abuse. operating outside law. it also exposes racist and discriminatory police and dehumanization of black children”.
Anna Edmundson, head of policy as well as public affairs to the NSPCC, said: “It is vital that police leaders and government commit to the eradication of racism, discrimination and bias in the work of the police in order to prevent further damage children”.
finds in message that most of those children the undressed were innocent of police suspicions that triggered shocked and angry reaction within the police themselves and among those who supervise meth.
Andy George, President of The National Association of Black Police Officers said: “We continue to see these models of slope that always falls against black communities. Most officers do not perform their duties, thinking that they are causing harm, but because of systemic issues such as culture, training and lack of of representation, they consistently consider black communities disproportionately.
“Metro continues to exacerbate confidence from black community in UK and new the commissioner must recognize the consistency nature of racism that manifests itself in met with ensure meaningful measures developed fill the gap of trust and confidence”.
representative for Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, as well as the Metropolitan Police and crime commissioner with duty for The Met said: “It is deeply disturbing that so many cases of children is subjected to a strip search at the Met without the proper presence of an adult, and there remain serious broader problems with regarding disproportion and use of stop and look on young black boys.”
The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: “The Metropolitan Police are moving forward. pace work to ensure children subjected to harassing searches with appropriate and respectful. We recognize the significant impact of such searches.
“We have already made changes and continue work hard to balance policing for this type of Search with significant impact it can have on young people.
“We have made sure that our officers and staff have an updated understanding of in policy for conducting a “further search”, especially around the claim for the presence of an appropriate adult. We have also gave officers advice on how to conduct business with schools, ensuring that children regarded as children and taking into account the protection for persons under 18 years of age.
More broadly, we have considered policy for “further search” for persons under 18 years of age. This is done in order to make sure that policy fit and also what he admits fact child in these circumstances may well be a vulnerable victim of exploitation by others in gangs, counties and the drug trade.”