IOPC investigation into complaint that 15-year-old girl was inappropriately strip searched

Published: 16 Mar 2022

All lines of enquiry have been completed for the Independent Office for Police Conduct’s (IOPC) investigation into a complaint that a 15-year-old girl was inappropriately strip searched in December 2020 by two Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers. Our investigation report is being finalised.

During our investigation, which began following a voluntary referral from the MPS on 6 May last year, we served three constables with notices advising them that they were under investigation for misconduct over their roles in either carrying out the strip search or involvement in supervising it.

IOPC Regional Director Sal Naseem said: “We recognise the seriousness of this case and the concern it has caused in the community following the publication of the Local Child Safeguarding Practice Review into this incident. We have now completed all lines of inquiry for our investigation and we are close to finalising our report. We will look to conclude decision making around that at the earliest opportunity.”

The investigation has examined whether legislation, policies and procedures were followed during the strip search of the girl and we have looked at complaints that the girl’s mother was not given the opportunity to be present during the strip search, and that there was no other appropriate adult present. We have also considered whether the girl’s ethnicity played a part in the officers’ decision to strip search the girl.