The strip-search of a black girl by police at school in east London was not an isolated case, England’s children’s commissioner has said.
Dame Rachel de Souza requested Met Police data after details of the “Child Q” incident became public in March.
Of the 650 strip-searches carried out between 2018-2020, almost a quarter were done without an appropriate adult present, figures show. More than half of those searched were black boys.
The Met said it has since made changes.
It added that it had given officers advice around dealing with schools and children, and had reviewed its policy for strip-searches of children.
Dame Rachel de Souza, who became children’s commissioner last year, said she requested the figures from the Met Police after details surrounding the strip-search of the 15-year-old black girl, known as Child Q, at her school in Hackney in 2020 were revealed earlier this year.
During the incident, the girl was taken out of an exam to the school’s medical room and strip-searched by two female Met police officers, who were looking for cannabis, while teachers remained outside.
No other adult was present, her parents were not contacted, and no drugs were found.
The girl’s intimate body parts were exposed and she was made to take off her sanitary towel, according to the review.
A safeguarding report, published in March this year, found that the search was unjustified, and that racism was “likely” to have been a factor in the incident – sparking protests over the student’s treatment.