Met Police: Force apologizes to woman for ‘gender offensive’ language during strip search

Dr Konstancja Duff has received an apology from the Met Police for the ‘absolute shame’ incident

The Met Police apologized to Dr Konstancja Duff for the language officers used about her when she was searched.

Appointment Police apologized to a woman for “sexist, derogatory” language used of her when she was searched and stripped in an incident that was described as a “disgraceful” incident. “.

Dr Konstancja Duff, an assistant professor of philosophy, was detained at a police station in the capital in 2013, after being arrested after trying to give a 15-year-old boy a card with a list legal advice during the search. in the East London asset.

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She continued to file civil lawsuits against the force and the claim was settled last year.

In footage taken by the Guardian, police officers can be heard saying of Dr Duff, who works at the University of Nottingham, “does she have a rank?” and “her clothes stink”.

In another clip, one officer mentions a “smell” and then another says “Oh, that’s her panties.”

Dr Duff, who said she was “limbed as a form of passive protest” when arrested, said officers spoke of her in a “really dehumanizing” way.

The footage also shows an officer telling his colleagues that the search should be carried out “by all means necessary” and that “resistance is futile”, followed by “treat her like a terrorist. I do not care. ”

‘The overwhelming memory… just a kind of physical pain its’

She told the Guardian: “It really didn’t surprise me at all. Obviously the way they treat me that’s the attitude they have.

“When you disagree with what the police are doing to you – even if it’s just unfair – that is used to justify an escalation of force against you.”

She described being pinned to the floor of a cell by three officers with her hands cuffed and her feet tied together.

Dr Duff, a self-employed philosophy tutor at the time of the incident, said officers “cut off my clothes with scissors”.

She added: “The kind of overwhelming memory of that, as well as actually being scared, is just the kind of physical pain it has.”

She says that most people at the end of such treatment “never get heard”.

She added: “So even though talking about it is a challenge, I feel lucky to be able to do it. They (police) are being challenged about their racism, about their taciturnity. So I hope that what I am describing can be heard as part of that. ”

The Met apologized to her after CCTV video recording the officers’ conversations was revealed to her as part of a civil lawsuit against the force.

Inspector Andy O’Donnell, of the Met’s director of professional standards, told her: “I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely and frankly apologize for the sexist, offensive and It is unacceptable to be used about you and any discomfort and distress this may cause.

“I hope that resolving this complaint and acknowledging the impact of what happened that day will help you work this out behind your back.”

In CCTV footage, an officer can be heard saying that resistance was futile “then a comment was made that she should be treated” like a terrorist”.

‘Women in our city must be able to trust the police’

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said what happened was “absolutely shameful”.

He tweeted: “I strongly condemn the derogatory and sexist acts against Dr Duff. The Met is right to apologize for this horrific incident. Women in our city must be able to trust the police.”

Metropolitan Police said they were “sincerely sorry”, when asked about the incident involving Dr Duff, and an ongoing investigation into allegations of misconduct.

In a statement, the force said: “In November 2021, the Met settled a claim following the arrest of a woman in Hackney in May 2013. We sincerely apologize to the complainant. because of the language used while she was in custody and any suffering caused.

“Following the conclusion of the civil action, allegations of misconduct related to these comments have been referred to our Professional Standards Board and are currently being investigated.

“This investigation is still ongoing.”

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Huynh Nguyen

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