National recommendation - Home Office, September 2023

Published 14 Sep 2023

We identified national organisational learning from investigations into search procedures.

One search occurred in December 2020 after police were called to a school following suspicions by staff that a child was in possession of cannabis. This followed a search by staff of her bag and outer clothing where no drugs were found. 

The child was subject to a search involving the removal of clothing by two female officers under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, while two male officers and school staff remained outside the room where the search took place. No drugs were found during the search. 

Our recommendation calls for a substantial review of policing powers under the laws relating to the strip searches of children, to improve safeguarding and prioritise the welfare of minors. 


IOPC reference

Date of recommendation
Date response due


  • Metropolitan Police Service
  • Welfare and vulnerable people