Four Met Police officers investigated after black schoolgirl strip-searched

14 June 2022, 20:38 | Updated: 15 June 2022, 08:40

Protests erupted after it emerged the teenager was searched
Protests erupted after it emerged the teenager was searched. Picture: Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Four Metropolitan Police officers are being investigated for gross misconduct after a 15-year-old black schoolgirl, known as Child Q, was strip-searched.

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Child Q was strip-searched by female Met officers in 2020 after she was wrongly suspected of carrying cannabis at her east London school.

Protests and condemnation erupted after it emerged the teenager was searched without another adult present and in the knowledge that she was menstruating.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) confirmed that four Met officers have been served with gross misconduct notices in connection with its ongoing investigation.

READ MORE: Met cops sorry after black school girl 'traumatised' in 'racially motivated' strip search

READ MORE: Child Q case of black schoolgirl, 15, being strip-searched 'should horrify us all'

Previously it was the case that the IOPC was investigating three police officers for misconduct.

A spokesman for the IOPC said: "As with all of our investigations we continually review the evidence and lines of inquiry as the investigation progresses.

"As a part of this, matters were identified which required new notices of investigation to be served on officers.

"Four constables have now been advised that they are being investigated for potential breaches of the police standards of professional behaviour at the level of gross misconduct, which does not necessarily mean that disciplinary proceedings will follow."

The IOPC said its investigation is examining whether legislation, policies and procedures were followed during the strip-search of the child.

"We are looking at complaints that her mother was not given the opportunity to be present during the strip-search, and that there was no other appropriate adult present," the IOPC spokesman said.

"We are also considering whether the child's ethnicity played a part in the officers' decision to strip-search her."

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".

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