Hackney: Council to dissect Child Q case
Julia Gregory Local Democracy Reporter
- Credit: Julia Gregory
The police’s decision to strip-search a Black teenager at her Hackney school will be dissected in a special commission at the council.
Two Town Hall scrutiny committees that cover children and young people and living in Hackney will hold the joint meeting to find out what lessons have been learned since the scandal broke in March.
Two years ago, the 15-year-old – known as Child Q – was taken out of an exam at her school after staff contacted police over concerns that she might have cannabis.
She was searched without an adult present or her family being contacted whilst she had her period.
Neither Child Q nor the school can be named for legal reasons.
In the aftermath, people staged two protests and 200 people attended an online community meeting with the police.
Child Q, who is taking legal action against the police and the school, said: “Someone walked into the school, where I was supposed to feel safe, took me away from the people who were supposed to protect me and stripped me naked, while on my period.”
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She added: “I can’t go a single day without wanting to scream, shout, cry or just give up. I don’t know if I’m going to feel normal again. But I do know this can’t happen to anyone else, ever again.”
The Metropolitan police, Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville and the Mayor of London’s office for policing and crime will all update the meeting on actions being taken to prevent a similar case.
In its report for the committee, the Met said: “We are committed to learning from this incident.”
It outlines the work it is doing, including providing adultification training to all safe school officers on 16 June – to help them avoid treating children as adults. Other officers will get the training later.
It has also trialled sending letters to parents to raise concerns about substance misuse. The force said it has so far sent 23 letters, with one positive response.
The special commission starts at 7pm at Hackney Town Hall on Monday 13 June, and can be viewed live at https://youtu.be/TvyF1O1bH7c.
There is also a back-up link in case of technical difficulties:
A conference is also taking place at Stoke Newington School on Saturday 11 June from 11am to 5pm. Speakers include Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, and Windrush campaigner Patrick Vernon.