March 2022 BLACKLIVESMATTER.UK we wrote to at least 14 people in public office to share parents and the nations shared outrage at the treatment and lack of safeguarding for Child Q. We still have grave concerns for Black children’s human rights and dignity. Sadly their rights, safeguarding and protection are all too often denied in institutions, from people in environments having power over them. It’s not uncommon for our children to be left unprotected from harm whilst they are in the care and supervision of local authority, care and services.

The outright lack of care from professionals in this instance is heinous, and all involved must not get away with treating children with little respect and human dignity even on a basic level.

A review found racism played a part in the unlawful strip search of a Child Q at a school and with Teachers and police shared and equal involvement and responsibility. Both failed dismally. Each step of the way the 'so called ‘professionals showed inadequacy in their positions. They have a duty of care, and now they must to be held accountable.

Local Child Safeguarding Practice Review

5.63 Finding 8: Having considered the context of the incident, the views of those engaged in the review and the impact felt by Child Q and her family, racism (whether deliberate or not) was likely to have been an influencing factor in the decision to undertake a strip search.

The outraged was nationwide, highlighted with protests taking place at Stoke Newington police station on Friday 18th and Sunday Hackney Town Hall 20th March 2022.

While our email is being passed to another Home Office’s Direct Communications Unit we sharing a letter received with you, see below.

Child Q -

Hackney Council


Email Letter Format: 25/03/2022

Dear whom it may concern

Thank you for writing to the Council regarding the Local Child Safeguarding Practice review into the case of Child Q. As Group Director for Children & Education, I am responding on behalf of the

My thoughts are first and foremost with the child and her family. We know that there will have been a traumatic impact on this girl, her family and those closest to her. Please be assured that the Council is continuing to offer support to Child Q and her family, who are our utmost priority.

The anonymity of Child Q is paramount and anything said or done to identify her would be wrong....

Jacquie Burke
Group Director (Children & Education)

2nd Floor, Hackney Town Hall
020 8356 8032
Executive Support Officer:

Child Q -

Education Department

Email Letter Format: 11/04/2022

"Dear Correspondent

Thank you for your recent correspondence following the publication of the local child safeguarding practice review on 14 March 2022, and the concerns you have raised on behalf of Child Q.

I hope you will appreciate that, whilst many people have contacted the department to find reason and justice on Child Q’s behalf, it is of paramount importance that the anonymity of Child Q and her family, and that of the  chool, are preserved. The department is in touch with the local authority, and they are supporting Child Q.

I am sure you will also appreciate that the ongoing Independent Office for Police Conduct investigation means it would be inappropriate for us to comment further on the actions taken by the police.

Nothing is more important than a child’s welfare and everyone who comes into contact with children has a role to play in ensuring that their welfare considerations remain paramount. There is a shared responsibility between organisations and agencies to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children in a local area at all times. Further, it is the duty of the statutory safeguarding partners, police, local authority and health  to join up the activities and policies of all multi-agency partners to ensure children are safe..."

Department for Education

'To contact the Department for Education please call the National Helpline on 0370 000 2288 or use the contact form which can be found at We will endeavour to provide you with a response within 15 working days, or 20 working days if your request was made under the Freedom of Information Act.

If you have concerns that a child is at an immediate risk of harm, please contact your local authority or the Police on 101.

If you are concerned about extremism in a school or organisations that works with children, or if you think a child might be at risk of extremism, contact the National Helpline.'

Child Q -

Home Office


Email & Letter Format: April 2022

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your email of 17 March to the Minister for Safeguarding about the deeply
concerning report released by City and Hackney Safeguarding Partnership into the strip
search of a 15-year-old schoolgirl (Child Q) by police officers in 2020. Your email has been passed to the Home Office’s Direct Communications Unit for a reply.

This experience will have been traumatic for the child, her family and the community, and the impact upon her welfare should not be underestimated. Strip search is one of the most intrusive powers available to the police and the law is very clear that the use of police powers to search must be fair, respectful and without unlawful discrimination. Any use of strip search should be carried out in accordance with the law and with full regard for the welfare and dignity of the individual being searched, particularly if that  ndividual is a child.

If police judge it operationally necessary to strip search a child, they must do so in the presence of the child’s appropriate adult.

Stephen Gearing


Direct Communications Unit
2 Marsham Street
Tel: 020 7035 4848

Dame Rachel de Souza Quote:

"I was also shocked, but sadly not surprised after the experiences of Child Q, to learn that of all boys who were strip searched, 58% were Black, as described by the officer.

53% of all strip searches of children resulted in no further action taken, which calls into question how justified these intrusive and traumatising searches were." 

[1] Children’s Commissioner for England, Business Plan 2022/23, 2022. Available at : Accessed on 04/08/22.

[2] Children’s Commissioner for England, The Big Ask: The Big Answer, 2021. Available at: Accessed on 04/08/22.

[3] Under the Police and Criminal Evidence (PACE) Act (1984), it is a requirement that an Appropriate Adult is present when a child is strip searched, except in cases of urgency where there is a risk of serious harm to the child or others. As defined in the Act, an Appropriate Adult is usually a parent or guardian, but can be a social worker, or representative of a local authority or charitable organisation the child is in the care of. An Appropriate Adult can be any responsible person over the age of 18 who is not a police officer, and local schemes exist for volunteers to play this role.

Black schoolgirl strip searched by police while on her period – report

A safeguarding review found that ‘racism was likely to have been an influencing factor’.

No Police in Schools Demo  - 4pm Friday 18th March Stoke Newington Police Station



Girl, 15, was strip-searched ‘because of racist attitudes’

Metropolitan Police officers based at Stoke Newington Police Station were almost certainly influenced by racism, racist attitudes and perceptions and adultification of Black girls when they decided to strip-searched a 15-year-old Black schoolgirl who was menstruating.

The MET has now apologised after the secondary school pupil, who was wrongly suspected of carrying cannabis, was searched without another adult present, in a breach of the rules.

Diane Abbott MP on Twitter: "The indignities that Child Q was subjected to are not an aberration, they're part of a bigger picture of institutional racism and discrimination within policing. I’m appalled this happened in Hackney and I've written to the Borough Commander demanding an urgent meeting #ChildQ 

@HackneyCopWatch  and other groups are organising against the harms of policing in schools and elsewhere. For further reading on the issue of police in schools you can find a range of resources here: Resources | No Police In Schools

Stoke Newington Police Station Demo

•••► Friday 18th March 2022 @4pm



Hackney council has challenged the MET Police to again accept institutional racism

Hackney council has challenged the Met to “again, accept that institutional racism as defined in the Stephen Lawrence report – is a consistent factor in the relationship between the police and the Black and Global Majority communities, and in their wider experiences”. They said this might prevent a similar incident happening again and restore trust and confidence.

The girl was strip-searched at her east London school by two female officers in Hackney in December 2020, after being wrongly suspected of carrying drugs.

Protests were held in London last month after a report by the City & Hackney Safeguarding Children Partnership, which found that Child Q – who was having her period at the time – was made to remove her clothing, underwear and a sanitary pad, spread her buttocks and cough.

The review concluded that racism was “likely” to have been a factor, Child Q should never have been strip-searched and there was an absence of a safeguarding-first approach.

Read more in the guardian - click here