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Met police apologize for strip-searching a 14-year-old black schoolgirl after falsely accusing her of having cannabis on her

The Metropolitan Police have apologized for searching a black schoolgirl after falsely accusing her of having cannabis on her.

Officials conducted the “traumatic” search in 2020 without another adult in the room at the girls’ secondary school in Hackney, London.

The Met Police have apologized for the traumatic and unwarranted search

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The Met Police have apologized for the traumatic and unwarranted searchCredit: Alamy

The girl was on her period and officers were aware of it at the time, a shelter report revealed.

It concluded that the strip search should never have taken place, was unjustified and racism “was likely a contributing factor”.

Scotland Yard has apologized, saying the incident “should never have happened”.

The Local Child Safeguarding Practice Review was conducted by City & Hackney Safeguarding Children Partnership (CHSCP).

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It said the impact on the girl – referred to as Child Q – was “profound” and the impact “obvious and lasting”.

Her family said she had gone from “a happy girl to a shy recluse who hardly speaks” and needed therapy.

According to the report, police arrived at the girl’s school after being called by teachers who told the review they were concerned the teenager was carrying drugs because she smelled of cannabis.

She was taken to the hospital room and strip-searched by two female officers while the teachers waited outside.

During the ordeal, her private parts were exposed and she was forced to remove her sanitary napkin, according to the review.

No drugs were found. She was then sent home in a taxi and later shared her distress with her mother.

Her family firmly believes the strip search was a racist incident, and the review concluded that her experiences “would have been unlikely to have been the same” had she not been black.

It is very likely that “adultification bias” is a factor – where adults perceive black children as older than them because they see them as “street smarter”.

In a written statement for verification, the girl said she wanted anyone who allowed the strip search to be “held accountable.”

She said, “I need to know that the people who did this to me can never do it to anyone else again, so no one else can do this to another child in their care.”

“DEEP SOOTHING”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan called the case “shocking and deeply disturbing” and added: “No child should ever be faced with a situation like this”.

Meanwhile, councilor Anntoinette Bramble, deputy mayor and cabinet member for Hackney Council’s children’s services, and Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville said they were “appalled” by all aspects of the review.

The review found that the school staff submitted to the authority of the police and “should have been more challenging”.

This was accepted by the school, with one staff member saying: “I have never known of, and would not condone, a young person being strip searched on a school property.”

The Metropolitan Police said the IOPC had opened an investigation following a complaint in May 2021.

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Detective Superintendent Dan Rutland of the Met’s Central East Command said: “We recognize that the security clearance findings reflect an incident that should never have happened.

“It is truly unfortunate and on behalf of the Met Police I would like to apologize to the affected child, his family and the wider community.”

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/17962500/met-police-apologise-strip-search-black-schoolgirl/ Met police apologize for strip-searching a 14-year-old black schoolgirl after falsely accusing her of having cannabis on her

Bobby Allyn

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