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StopWatch responds to Home Office consultation on strip searches of children (Codes A and C)

Read StopWatch's full and detailed response to the Home Office's consultation on changes to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 Codes A and C

StopWatch welcomes the opportunity to respond to this consultation on amendments to Codes A and C of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.

In summary, StopWatch opposes police searches of any child under the age of 18. Children’s vulnerability to psychological suffering and intimidation during and in the aftermath of a strip search has been widely reported and cannot be overstated (Ali & Champion, 2021). First-person testimonies from individuals who have been affected by strip searches have described the practice as ‘state-sanctioned sexual assault’ (4Front, 2022 cited in Duff and Kemp, 2024, p. 3). Strip searches are both a bodily violation and a violation of the human right of the child not to be subjected to degrading treatment. Law enforcement measures do not meet these standards and therefore cannot be seen as an effective way of safeguarding them.

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