Officers disciplined following ‘concerning’ strip searches of a minor

Two officers have been handed final written warnings over the way they treated a 16-year-old boy during a number of strip searches.

Aug 29, 2017

Two officers have been handed final written warnings over the way they treated a 16-year-old boy during a number of strip searches. The boy – referred to as Boy R – was strip searched on three occasions within two weeks without an appropriate adult present in August 2014. All three of the searches were in Southend, Essex, with one taking place in the back of a police van. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) found Police Constables Michael Brimfield and Ian Patterson had a case to answer for gross misconduct for strip searching Boy R without an appropriate adult and failing to correctly record the searches. Both officers were handed final written warnings at misconduct hearings last week. A third officer was also found to have a case to answer for gross misconduct for honesty and integrity, facilitating strip searches without an appropriate adult present and creating false intelligence reports. In January, the IPCC referred the officer’s actions to the Crown Prosecution Service, which decided not to prosecute. As the officer had resigned from Essex Police prior to the conclusion of the IPCC investigation, no disciplinary proceedings could be brought. IPCC Commissioner Mary Cunneen said: “This was a very serious investigation which highlighted concerns across a number of stops and strip searches of the same boy in just a two-week period. “These officers were in breach of various police policies in the ways they conducted themselves. “Strip searching a minor without an appropriate adult present and then failing to record those searches accurately is of grave concern, and it is right that two officers have been sanctioned today.”

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