WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
April 13 2024
WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
Search
Close this search box.

More than 13,000 children strip-searched by police since 2016

More than 13,000 children strip-searched by police since 2016

A Daily Mail investigation reveals that more than 13,000 children have been strip-searched by police since 2016, with at least two being under ten years old. The true number is likely to be higher, as only 28 out of the 43 police forces across England and Wales have answered Freedom of Information requests for data.

Claire Alldis, National Manager at the Children’s Society said, ‘Strip-searches can be a horrible and intrusive experience for children and national guidance says they should only be carried out when absolutely necessary’.

The data collected by the Daily Mail highlights a strong racial bias in the conduct of these searches. Only three out of the 43 forces provided data on race and black children accounted for nearly half of those searched. Figures for Scotland Yard police show that almost 60% of children who went through a ‘more thorough intimate parts’ search were black.

No appropriate adult was present during searches in nearly a quarter of 650 ‘more thorough intimate parts’ searches conducted by the Met over two years.

The presence of an appropriate adult is one of the recommendations of the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) following public uproar about a 15 year-old black girl, known as Child Q, who had been strip-searched at school while she was menstruating. The Local Child Safeguarding Practice Review earlier this year held that the strip-search of Child Q ‘should never have happened and there was no reasonable justification for it’. The IOPC’s investigation of the Child Q case as well as four other cases are ongoing.

The results of the Daily Mail investigation come not long after the Children’s Commissioner recently requested further information on all strip-searches conducted by police forces in England and Wales. Previous data on searches by the Met between 2018 and 2020 published in the summer showed that ‘half of all strip searches of children resulted in no further action taken’.