By Rabia Ali
ISTANBUL (AA) - Black children, in England and Wales, are six times more likely to be strip searched by the police as compared to other children, says a report by the Children’s Commissioner for England.
The report, Strip search of children in England and Wales - analysis by the Children’s Commissioner for England, is based on strip searches conducted by the UK police between 2018 to mid-2022.
According to the report, around 2,847 children, between 8 to 17 years of age were strip searched under stop and search powers exercised by the police.
About 95% were boys, while 38% of children who were searched were Black.
The report expresses concern that 52% of searches happened without an "Appropriate Adult" present. An Appropriate Adult, is defined as a parent or guardian or in some cases social worker, charitable organization or representative of a local authority of whose care, the child is in.
Around 45% of search locations where children were stripped and searched were not recorded. Meanwhile, 37% searches happened at a police station and 12% at home. At least 14 strip searches were conducted in police vehicles or at schools. Around 6% of strip searches were conducted with at least one officer of a different gender than the child being searched, says the report.
According to the report, around 51% of the searches yielded no further action.
The report recommends that the UK’s Home Office should "conduct a comprehensive review of legislative and policy frame work for searches involving children in custody and under stop and search powers." It stresses that children should only be searched in "exceptional circumstances" where it is deemed necessary to protect them or others from harm.