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Boy Q: Case of 15-year-old girl strip-searched by police ‘should horrify us all’

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The case of a 15-year-old girl stripped naked by police at her school “should horrify us all”, a government adviser has said.

Nimco Ali, an independent government adviser on how to tackle violence against women and girls, told Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “I think the idea of ​​a child being strip-searched, whether male or female, should be something that we shouldn’t.” I will not be able to tolerate in this country.”

The girl’s family, known as Child Q, is suing the Metropolitan Police and her school over the incidentwhich happened in December 2020.

It came to light this month in a safeguard reportwhich found that racism “was likely to have been an influential factor.”

The review of local child protection practice, conducted by the City & Hackney Safeguarding Children Partnership, revealed that the teenager was pulled from an exam to be searched after teachers called the police.

Two female police officers conducted the strip search, in which the intimate parts of the schoolgirl’s body were exposed and she was forced to remove her sanitary napkin, according to the review.

Family members described her as changing from a “happy-go-lucky little girl to a shy recluse who barely speaks”, who is now self-harming and in need of therapy.

We have more to do about racism

Asked about the possible role of racism in the incident, Ms Ali said: “This country is one of the most tolerant countries in Europe.

“Is there anything else we can do? Yes, there is.

“COVID has really brought out a lot of sordid people, I’ve experienced over the last two years, really horrible experiences of racism, which I never thought the UK could be capable of.”

He added: “Ultimately, we have to talk about the Metropolitan Police and institutional racism.”

Scotland Yard apologized for the incident, saying “it should never have happened”.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has investigated three police officers for misconduct.

Ali also raised concerns about the Homes for Ukraine programme, which allows the British to take in Ukrainians who have fled war in their own country.

Safeguarding issue for refugees

Ms Ali, who came to the UK as a refugee at the age of seven, said there could be a protection issue, saying this was not given as much importance as it had been with Syrian and Afghan refugees.

“Those who want to take advantage of vulnerable people will take this opportunity where people seek safety, to abuse them.

“We have to be cautious and mindful of the fact that there will be some people who may not necessarily have the best of intentions when they talk about hosting refugees.”

The scheme pays hosts £350 a month if they host a refugee for at least six months, but has been criticized for not working fast enough to grant visas.

Last week it was reported that more than 150,000 people in Britain had registered an interest in hosting a refugee, but the government has not said how many applicants have been successful.

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