Child Q: Priti Patel urged to take ‘urgent action’ after police accused of stonewalling report

Priti Patel has been told to take “urgent action” against the Met Police as anger intensifies over the horrifying case of a 15-year-old Black girl being strip-searched at school.

More than 40 MPs have signed a letter to the home secretary asking her to outline how police and teachers will be held to account over the incident in Hackney, east London.

Child Q: Priti Patel urged to take ‘urgent action’ after police accused of stonewalling report

Hackney Council has also written to Patel demanding action, and accused the Met Police of obstructing a safeguarding report into the case of “Child Q” – who in 2020 was pulled out of an exam after her teachers called the police to investigate what they said was the smell of cannabis on her clothing.

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She was taken by two female officers to be strip searched in the school’s medical room, was told to remove the sanitary towel she was wearing due to being on her period, and had her intimate parts exposed.

No other adult was present and her parents were not contacted. No cannabis was found. Three police officers involved are now being investigated for misconduct by police watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

The safeguarding review laying out the incident and the emotional impact on the girl was published this week and sparked widespread outrage over the failings of the school and police.