Racism ‘likely to be a factor’ as a black schoolgirl wearing a period gown is searched by Met Police

Racism may have been a factor in the ‘traumatic’ strip search of Metropolitan Police officers taking place at the girls’ school, a report finds

No drugs were found and the traumatized girl was taken home by taxi to her mother
No drugs were found and the distressed girl was taken home by taxi to her mother

According to a report, a black schoolgirl was searched by police while on her period after being suspected of carrying marijuana.

The defense report revealed that a “traumatic” search by Metropolitan Police officers had taken place at the girl’s school upon learning that she was menstruating and that no other adults were present.

It concluded that the strip-search should never have happened, was irrational, and that racism “could be an influencing factor”.

According to the report, the impact on the high school student, known as Child Q, was “profound” and the consequences “clear and ongoing”.

Family members describe her changing from a “happy lucky girl to a reclusive, shy and barely speaking girl” who has now harmed herself and needs to be cared for. treatment.

Scotland Yard apologized and said the incident “should never have happened”.

Metropolitan police officers conducted a search at the girl’s school


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A Review of Local Child Protection Practices, published in March, was conducted by the City & Hackney Child Protection Partnership (CHSCP) following the incident in late 2020.

It said police arrived at the school after being called by teachers, who said they were concerned that the teen was in possession of drugs because she smelled marijuana.

She was taken to the infirmary and searched by two female officers, while the teachers remained outside.

During the ordeal, her private body parts were exposed and she was asked to take off her sanitary napkin, according to the review.

No drugs were found. She was then taken home by taxi, after which she shared her grief with her mother.

Her family believes the strip search was an incident of racism and the assessment found her experiences “could not have been the same” had she not been black.

A guard report shows that the strip search never happened


Getty Images / iStockphoto)

It has been suggested that ‘cult bias’ is most likely a factor, with adults considering black children older than their age because they find them more ‘stubborn’.

It read: “The decision to disproportionately disqualify Child Q appears to be unrelated to her ethnicity and background as a child growing up on a Hackney estate.”

In a written statement, the girl said she couldn’t go a day “without wanting to scream, scream, cry or just give up.”

She said: “Everyone who lets this happen needs to be held accountable. I’m responsible for the smell… but I’m just a kid.

“The main thing I need is space and time to understand what happened to me and exactly how I feel about it and get through this exam season.”

She added: “I need to know that the people who have done this to me can’t do it to anyone else again, in fact, so no one else can do this to any other kid. any other child in their care.”

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, deputy mayor and cabinet member for Children’s Services at Hackney Council, and the mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville, said they were “appalled” by all aspects of the review.

In a joint statement, they said: “Child Q was treated with humiliation, pain and complete shock by police officers – actions completely disproportionate to the incident to which they were called.

“This is exacerbated by the fact that the search for the ribbon is carried out at the school – where the child is expected to be safe, secure and cared for.

“Instead, she was let down by those intent on protecting her.”

Police must “stop inexcusable behavior and thinking in order to properly serve all of our diverse communities,” they added.

They requested a six- to nine-month report on progress made regarding the review’s eight findings and 14 recommendations.

These include a call for the Department of Education to refer more explicitly to protection in its guidance on search, screening and confiscation, and police guidance on searches of children to outline clear the need to focus on protection.

The Metropolitan Police said the Independent Office of Police Conduct was investigating, following a complaint in May 2021.

Detective Director Dan Rutland of the Met’s Central Eastern Command said: “We found that the findings of the protection review reflect this incident that should never have happened.

“It is deeply regrettable and on behalf of the Met Police, I would like to apologize to the child involved, her family and the wider community.”

Jabeer Butt, executive director of Racial Equality, said: “People will be shocked that a child can be searched without any safeguards in place.

“What is also clear from this incident is that the reason these protections were not considered is because the child in question is black.

“All those involved in this horrific incident must be urgently held accountable.”

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Read more Racism 'likely to be a factor' as a black schoolgirl wearing a period gown is searched by Met Police

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