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Save the Children responds to the Children's Commissioner's Report on Police Strip-Searching Children

In response to the children commissioner’s report into stop-and-search operations for children, Save the Children’s Director of UK Impact Dan Paskins said:

Save the Children is shocked and appalled at the distressing news that black children have been disproportionately targeted by Met police in strip-and-search operations. This is racism against children, and as such a grave violation of their rights.

In March 2022, Save the Children, along with other children's charities, responded in horror to the abuse Child Q suffered at the hands of the Met police during a strip-and-search at her school. Then, we called on the Government, the Home Office and the Met police to strengthen safeguarding procedures and put anti-racism at the heart of decision-making. Yet one year on, we can see the disturbing results of their inaction on both these fronts.

There is no justification for the failures outlined in this report, and Save the Children wholeheartedly backs the children's commissioner Dame Rachel de Souza's call for action from the very top. We need a firm commitment from leadership at the Met police and the Home Office to put an immediate end to this egregious discrimination against children of colour - some of whom are amongst the most vulnerable people in our society. We urge them to respond swiftly with a plan of action.