Britain’s Metropolitan Police have strip-searched thousands of children

‘British police strip search children’

Sun, 16 Mar 2014 23:47:04 GMT

Britain’s Metropolitan Police have strip-searched thousands of children during a five-year period beginning April 2008.

According to data obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and published on Sunday by The Guardian, more than 4,500 children aged between 10 to 16 have been forced by police officers to remove their clothes and then searched, of whom just over a third were released without charge between April 2008 and the end of last year.

This is while police are allowed to conduct a strip-search on people under arrest who are being held in a police cell or at a detention centre provided that an inspector orders the procedure to be applied.

In addition, a strip-search is allowed only if police officers suspect the person is hiding class A drugs or an object that could cause harm.

The data shows more than 134,000 people were strip searched during the period, of whom 3.5 percent were children and 10.5 percent were female.

The procedure has been applied on 803 children in 2013, compared with 683 in 2009. In 2010, the figure reached a high of 990.

Julian Huppert, a Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge, described the figures as “extremely worrying”.

Sophie Khan, legal director of Police Action Centre, a charity that advises people on their rights if they wish to pursue an action against the police said, “It is disturbing that the Met strip search children as young as 10 years old on a routine basis. Strip searching is an inhuman and degrading experience and children should not be subjected to such treatment unless there is no other feasible method to detect crime available to the police.”

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