Child Strip Searches Undertaken by the Met (2)

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 16th November 2022.

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Photo of Caroline Pidgeon Caroline Pidgeon Liberal Democrat

What work are you undertaking with the Met’s leadership to ensure all child strip search cases which raise concerns are referred to the IOPC and how will you be ensuring lessons are learnt as quickly as possible?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) have agreed that as of 1st April this year to review every More Thorough Intimate Part search and check every single strip search of a child in custody. This is to ensure they are carried out properly, in line with current policy and that children are safeguarded. In line with the IOPC Statutory Guidance, as necessary, cases will be referred to the IOPC.

Furthermore, my Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC) has written to HMICFRS raising concerns about the use of strip searches. HMICFRS have confirmed that they are working closely with the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) following the recent strip search cases that have come to light and will then reflect on any changes that may be needed to their inspection methodology.

I have continued to push the MPS to publish transparent data on strip searching to allow greater public scrutiny of this area of police practice and the MPS have now produced additional information dashboards that can be accessed online (Stops and Search - More Thorough Searches Dashboard | Tableau Public).

I, and my Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, will continue to hold the MPS to account for delivering these changes and implementing any recommendations from the IOPC and HMICFRS.