Two of the five officers involved in the traumatic search of a 15-year-old black girl at her school in Hackney, London, have been removed from the front line, Metropolitan police have confirmed.
The admission came at a local meeting Wednesday night as anger over the treatment of the girl, known as Child Q, continues. The meeting was originally to take place in person, but had to be moved online after police could not find a venue. More than 250 people attended and several wanted to but could not attend due to the meeting limit.
Tensions were high on the call with many frustrated and angry participants saying the force was institutionally racist and that they had not addressed the issue.
The police panel, led by the head of Hackney’s Basic Unit, Marcus Barnett, admitted that Met has a problem with officers seeing children in inner London as “adults”, adding that what happened to Child Q probably would not have happened to a child living in London. Cotswolds, as an example.
“I think we see children in inner London as adults, the problem we have in the police at the moment is that we see children and we believe that children in London are more resilient than they are, “said Detective Inspector Dan Rutland, who was also on the panel.
It was also confirmed that two of the officers who conducted the search in December 2020 have been removed from frontline duties. The Independent Office of Police Conduct is investigating the incident.
The meeting also revealed that Barnett knew that the girl was strip-searched in January 2021. The officers were called because of a teacher who mistakenly suspected she had cannabis. He added that the school “probably should not have called us and we should probably very quickly have understood that we had no role to play there”.
Chanel Dolcy, a lawyer at Bhatt Murphy, who represents the family in cases against the police, said Child Q had initiated a civil lawsuit against the force and her school, which tried to hold both institutions accountable “to ensure this never happens. again for any other child “.
She added: “The metropolitan police have seemed incapable of reforming for generations and it is hard to say that it will ever change.”