Met Police apologises for strip-searching black schoolgirl 4 months ago

Met Police apologises for strip-searching black schoolgirl

The girl is now self harms and is in therapy

The Metropolitan Police have apologised for strip-searching a black schoolgirl after wrongly being suspected of carrying marijuana.

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Police were called to a school in Hackney at the end of 2020 by teachers who believed the girl, referred to as Q, was carrying drugs. She was taken into a private medical room and strip-searched by two female officers while teachers remained outside, reports the BBC.

A safeguarding report published in March, produced by City & Hackney Safeguarding Children Partnership (CHSCP), found that the girl's "intimate" areas were exposed and she was even made to remove her sanitary towel.

No drugs were found.

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Her family have argued that the incident was a racist one, something the report suggests is "likely." Her parents added that it would "unlikely to have been the same" had she not been black.

Q's family described her as a "happy-go-lucky girl" who has since become "a timid recluse that hardly speaks" and also self-harms. The report describes the "profound" repercussions of that ordeal, citing that the trauma is "obvious and ongoing."

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Scotland Yard described the officers' actions as "regrettable", adding that it "should never have happened."

In a written statement to the review, Q said she wants everyone involved to be "held responsible."

She continued: "I need to know that the people who have done this to me can't do it to anyone else ever again, in fact so no-one else can do this to any other child in their care."

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The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is also investigating the matter, with Det Supt Dan Rutland having said: "We recognise that the findings of the safeguarding review reflect this incident should never have happened.

"It is truly regrettable and on behalf of the Met Police I would like to apologise to the child concerned, her family and the wider community."

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan also condemned the incident, branding it a "deeply disturbing case" that he would be "closely following" as the IOPC review continues.

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