Police tape search law

The Metropolitan Police were in the spotlight again after news that officers had searched a 15-year-old black girl without an appropriate adult present, leaving her deeply traumatized.

The teenager, known only as Child Q, has been dropped from the exam she is sitting for at school in Hackney, east London, after being suspected of carrying cannabis. Two female officers forced her to remove her tampon and expose her intimate parts.

After no medication was found, they asked her to return to the exam “without any of the teachers asking her about how she felt knowing what she had just been through,” her mother said in a statement. an interview. She wasn’t even allowed to go to the bathroom to clean herself and had to reapply the same dirty tampons to her underwear.

Ribbon Search Law

The government says that a police officer can only stop and search someone if they have “reasonable grounds” to suspect that person is carrying illegal drugs, weapons, stolen property, or something that could be used to commit a crime.

An officer may ask the person in question to take off their coat, coat or gloves or whatever they are wearing for religious reasons, “for example a veil or a turban”. Then must be done out of public view. If the officer wants the person to take off “more than a coat and gloves,” they must be of the same sex as the suspect.

A ribbon search can only be conducted if an officer has a specific reason to search further and it must take place in a private area, such as a police station. This can only be done by an officer of the same sex, no people of the opposite sex are present and there must be at least two people in the room who are not detained, “except in an emergency”.

Under Police and Criminal Evidence (Pace) Act 1984, “a thorough examination” – a physical examination rather than a visual one – should only be performed by a registered medical practitioner or registered nurse, “unless an officer is at least an inspector member considers this to be impossible. If that is the case, having a professional who is not a medical professional conduct a vaginal examination “should be considered as a last resort only,” the rule states.

Rules for children

Children 17 years of age and younger are required to be accompanied by an adult if searched, except in an emergency where there is a risk of harm or if the minor has specifically stated that he or she does not wish to be accompanied by an appropriate adult. there. However, this decision must be recorded and signed by an appropriate adult.

The City & Hackney Collaborating to Protect Children (CHSCP), which includes the area where Child Q was searched, claims that 25 children under the age of 18 were “further searched” by officers between 2020 and 2021 – “searched further” means examine the ribbon. Of the 25 children, 19 were male and were handcuffed in the process.

Nothing was found in 22 (88%) searches and 20 (80%) resulted in “no more actions logged”. In terms of ethnicity, 15 (60%) of the children searched were black, two white, six of Asian and two Arab or North African.

In 2016, BBC reported that more than 5,000 children in England and Wales were searched between 2013 and 2015, and more than 4,000 of those searches were carried out by the Met Police.

The BBC asked all 45 police forces in the UK for figures on their search for the ribbon, but only 13 responded with this information.

‘From happy to lucky to shy recluse’

In the CHSCP’s damning report, Child Q’s biological aunt said she had seen her niece change “from a happy lucky little girl to a reclusive girl who rarely talks to me”. She also said that the girl was “now self-harming and in need of treatment”.

The teenager said she felt so negatively affected by the incident that took place in late 2020, that she wanted to “scream, scream, cry or give up” every day.

The report found that racism “whether intentional or not” was “likely” to have played a part in the officers’ decision to conduct a ribbon search. Write to GuardiansDiane Abbott, Labor MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, said the incident showed “black schoolgirls are not safe from police abuse, even at school, which is supposed to be safe”. .

Based on Guardiansthree Met officers were investigated by the police watchdog over the incident in 2020, but remained in full service.

‘Should never have happened’

The Met has apologized and said the search of the strip “should never have happened”, while the mayor and deputy mayor of Hackney Council have requested a report “in six to nine months” on progress. achieved after the report’s findings, said BBC.

This apology comes just two months after the Met Police publicly apologized for Verbal abuse of a scholar while searching for strips nearly a decade ago, she claimed to have left her with multiple trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The force admitted that officers used “sexist, offensive and unacceptable language” about Dr. Konstancja Duff after she was arrested for obstruction in May 2013. Duff said she had “malicious thoughts about the ribbon search [which] often bring on panic attacks” for months afterward.

Dr. Konstancja Duff Police tape search law

Fry Electronics Team

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