Child Q: Strip-search Met officers put on desk duties

24th March, 2022 8:40 am

Two police officers who conducted a strip-search of a black pupil are no longer in public-facing roles, the Met Police told a community meeting.

safeguarding report found the search of the 15-year-old, known as Child Q, was unjustified and racism was “likely” to have been a factor.

Child Q is suing the Met and her Hackney school over the 2020 incident.

Hackney police commander Ch Supt Marcus Barnett, who resisted calls to resign, said the pair were doing desk duties.

It came in response to repeated questions from the public about why the officers had not been sacked.

A member of the public also questioned why the team hosting Wednesday’s meeting was made up of three white male police officers.

Det Supt Dan Rutland responded acknowledging that while the panel did not reflect the local community, they were the senior leadership team of Hackney Police.

During the incident, the girl was taken out of an exam to the school’s medical room and strip-searched by two female Met police officers searching for cannabis, while teachers remained outside.

No other adult was present, her parents were not contacted and no drugs were found.

Her intimate body parts were exposed and she was made to take off her sanitary towel, according to the review.

Scotland Yard has admitted the officers’ actions were “regrettable” and it “should never have happened”.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Boris Johnson said that reports of the strip-search were “deeply distressing and deeply concerning”.

Earlier, Hackney’s mayor said it was clear that “school leadership has lost the confidence of the school, myself and the community”.

Philip Glanville said removing the head teacher could be “part of a process” to bring about change.

On Monday, policing minister Kit Malthouse said the government was taking this matter “extremely seriously”.

He added the government would wait for the outcome of an Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation before announcing any changes to police training around strip searches.

The IOPC said a report on the incident is being “finalised”.

The incident has sparked days of protest across Hackney, near the site of Child Q’s school.

The school has not responded to repeated requests for comment.

Source: BBC.co.uk

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