Child Q: Nationwide protests planned after police strip search Black schoolgirl

Protests are planned across Britain in solidarity with a Black schoolgirl who was strip-searched by police while on her period after wrongly being accused of cannabis possession.

The teenager, who was 15 years old at the time, was subjected to a “traumatic” search by Metropolitan Police officers at the end of 2020 while attending school without another adult present, and in the knowledge that she was menstruating, a safeguarding review published on Monday concluded.

The report, which refers to the girl as Child Q, said that racism “was likely to have been an influencing factor” in the decision to carry out the search.

After teachers called the police to the girl’s school, they conducted a strip search where the schoolgirl’s intimate body parts were exposed and she was made to take off her sanitary towel, according to the review.

Over 9,000 children were strip searched by the Met Police in the last five years including 35 children under 12, Freedom of Information data submitted in February shows.

It comes as the government’s equalities minister claimed that public outrage over the case shows that Britain is “a country that cares about ethnic minorities.”

Kemi Badenoch was being challenged over her new Inclusive Britain strategy – based on the controversial Sewell report which denied the existence of structural racism.

She said: “What we do know is that everybody is rightly appalled and outraged by what happened to Child Q. That is an example of a country that cares about ethnic minorities, and about children in the system,” she said.

Kids of Colour, a campaigning group geared at exposing institutional racism, was to hold a protest in St Peter’s Square, Manchester, last night.

It is an extension of their ongoing collaborative #NoPoliceInSchools campaign with Northern Police Monitoring Project (NPMP) and the National Education Union’s (NEU) Northwest Black Member’s Organising Forum. The drive is “united by shared concerns over the increasing presence of police in schools in Greater Manchester and beyond”.

Click here to read the full article posted by The Independent written by Nadine White – including quote from Patrick Vernon –

Prominent equalities campaigner Patrick Vernon is supporting this upcoming action and told The Independent that Black communities are “sickened and angry about the violation and state rape of this young girl”.

“We need full accountability and prosecutions. The commander of Hackney Police needs to resign; like the Windrush Scandal, warm apologies are now outdated,” he said.