Child Q: Third child strip-search case under scrutiny
- Credit: Archant
The Met has come under fire again for strip-searching a child, following the Child Q revelations involving a Hackney schoolgirl.
The police watchdog confirmed it is investigating the strip-search of another child by the Metropolitan Police.
The news follows two controversial cases where teenage girls, known as Child Q and Olivia, were strip-searched by officers while they were menstruating.
Acting Commissioner Sir Stephen House told the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee last week that there was a further case he could not discuss.
On Monday (May 30), the Independent Office for Police Conduct said: “We can confirm that, following a complaint, we are investigating the strip-search of a child.
“Due to the sensitivities surrounding this matter, we cannot provide any further information at this time.”
The latest case follows those of Child Q and another anonymous teenager given the pseudonym Olivia.
Child Q, 15, was strip-searched by female Metropolitan Police officers in 2020 after she was wrongly suspected of carrying cannabis at her east London school.
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The search took place without another adult present and in the knowledge that she was menstruating, a safeguarding report found.
The local child safeguarding practice review, conducted by City & Hackney Safeguarding Children Partnership (CHSCP), concluded the strip-search should never have happened, was unjustified and racism “was likely to have been an influencing factor”.
The headteacher of the school where Child Q was searched has since stepped down.
Olivia’s mother told the BBC that her daughter was arrested after being accused of robbery and while in custody was found to have a sharpened stick and a small blade, said to be for self-harming.
This prompted six officers to strip-search the autistic 15-year-old in front of male colleagues, leaving her traumatised, and the BBC reported that she later tried to kill herself.