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An act of parliament that provides the core framework of police powers to combat crime and provide codes of practice for the exercise of these powers.
Leads and manages the development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The body that represents the interests of all police constables, sergeants, and inspectors.
Deals with someone’s inability or failure to perform to a satisfactory level, but without breaching the Standards of Professional Behaviour.
Focuses on putting an issue right and preventing it from happening again by encouraging those involved to reflect on their actions and learn. It is not a disciplinary process or a disciplinary outcome.
Department within a police force that deals with complaints and conduct matters.
Refers to lower-level misconduct or performance-related issues, which are dealt with in a proportionate and constructive manner.
This means doing what is appropriate in the circumstances, taking into account the facts and the context in which the complaint has been raised, within the framework of legislation and guidance.
The average is calculated using the individual results of the forces in that most similar force group.
An investigation carried out by IOPC staff.
Carried out by the police under their own direction and control. The IOPC sets the terms of reference and receives the investigation report when it is complete. Complainants have a right of appeal following a supervised investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
This act sets out how the police complaints system operates.
How a police force is run, for example policing standards or policing policy.
An investigation carried out by the police under the direction and control of the IOPC.
The organisation that is responsible for assessing how to deal with a complaint. For example – whether it can be handled locally or reaches the criteria for referral to the IOPC. The appropriate authority may be the chief officer of the police force or the PCC for the force. If a complaint investigation finds that someone has a case to answer for misconduct, the appropriate authority is responsible for arranging any misconduct proceedings. If you make a complaint, the appropriate authority for your case will contact you.
An intelligence-led agency with law enforcement powers, it is also responsible for reducing the harm that is caused to people and communities by serious organised crime.
Policing bodies include police and crime commissioners, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
Investigations carried out entirely by the police. Complainants have a right of appeal following a local investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
IOPC guidance to the police service and police authorities on the handling of complaints.
A complaint or recordable conduct matter that doesn’t need to be referred to the IOPC, but where the seriousness or circumstances justifies referral.
Parameters within which an investigation is conducted.
A person is adversely affected if he or she suffers any form of loss or damage, distress or inconvenience, if he or she is put in danger or is otherwise unduly put at risk of being adversely affected.
This is where a manager deals with the way someone has behaved. It can include: showing the police officer or member of staff how their behaviour fell short of expectations set out in the Standards of Professional Behaviour; identifying expectations for future conduct; or addressing any underlying causes of misconduct.
This could be the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and an explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer involved.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and an explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer involved.
A breach of standards of professional behaviour by police officers or staff so serious it could justify their dismissal.
A matter where no complaint has been received, but where there is an indication that a person serving with the police may have committed a criminal offence or behaved in a manner that would justify disciplinary proceedings.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
Quarter 1 covers 1 April - 30 June Quarter 2 covers 1 April - 30 September Quarter 3 covers 1 April - 31 December Quarter 4 covers the full financial year (1 April - 31 March).
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.
Used to house anyone who has been detained.
Complainants have the right to appeal to the IOPC if a police force did not record their complaint or notify the correct police force if it was made originally to the wrong force.
The purpose of an investigation is to establish the facts behind a complaint, conduct matter, or DSI matter and reach conclusions. An investigator looks into matters and produces a report that sets out and analyses the evidence. There are three types of investigations: local, directed and independent.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
A person who makes a complaint about the conduct of someone serving with the police.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
List of officers and staff who have been dismissed from policing, or would have been if they had not retired or resigned.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
An independent judicial officer, the coroner enquires into deaths reported to him/her.
A breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour that would justify at least a written warning.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
A record is made of a complaint, giving it formal status as a complaint under the Police Reform Act 2002.
This is a format where information is written in plain English and short sentences.
The IOPC must be notified about specific types of complaint or incidents to be able to decide how they should be dealt with.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
Casework involves assessing appeals. Casework staff also have a role in overseeing the police complaints system to help ensure police forces handle complaints in the best possible way.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
Conduct includes acts, omissions, statements and decisions (whether actual, alleged or inferred). For example: language used and the manner or tone of communications.
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.

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An act of parliament that provides the core framework of police powers to combat crime and provide codes of practice for the exercise of these powers.
Leads and manages the development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The body that represents the interests of all police constables, sergeants, and inspectors.
Deals with someone’s inability or failure to perform to a satisfactory level, but without breaching the Standards of Professional Behaviour.
Focuses on putting an issue right and preventing it from happening again by encouraging those involved to reflect on their actions and learn. It is not a disciplinary process or a disciplinary outcome.
Department within a police force that deals with complaints and conduct matters.
Refers to lower-level misconduct or performance-related issues, which are dealt with in a proportionate and constructive manner.
This means doing what is appropriate in the circumstances, taking into account the facts and the context in which the complaint has been raised, within the framework of legislation and guidance.
The average is calculated using the individual results of the forces in that most similar force group.
An investigation carried out by IOPC staff.
Carried out by the police under their own direction and control. The IOPC sets the terms of reference and receives the investigation report when it is complete. Complainants have a right of appeal following a supervised investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
This act sets out how the police complaints system operates.
How a police force is run, for example policing standards or policing policy.
An investigation carried out by the police under the direction and control of the IOPC.
The organisation that is responsible for assessing how to deal with a complaint. For example – whether it can be handled locally or reaches the criteria for referral to the IOPC. The appropriate authority may be the chief officer of the police force or the PCC for the force. If a complaint investigation finds that someone has a case to answer for misconduct, the appropriate authority is responsible for arranging any misconduct proceedings. If you make a complaint, the appropriate authority for your case will contact you.
An intelligence-led agency with law enforcement powers, it is also responsible for reducing the harm that is caused to people and communities by serious organised crime.
Policing bodies include police and crime commissioners, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
Investigations carried out entirely by the police. Complainants have a right of appeal following a local investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
IOPC guidance to the police service and police authorities on the handling of complaints.
A complaint or recordable conduct matter that doesn’t need to be referred to the IOPC, but where the seriousness or circumstances justifies referral.
Parameters within which an investigation is conducted.
A person is adversely affected if he or she suffers any form of loss or damage, distress or inconvenience, if he or she is put in danger or is otherwise unduly put at risk of being adversely affected.
This is where a manager deals with the way someone has behaved. It can include: showing the police officer or member of staff how their behaviour fell short of expectations set out in the Standards of Professional Behaviour; identifying expectations for future conduct; or addressing any underlying causes of misconduct.
This could be the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and an explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer involved.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and an explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer involved.
A breach of standards of professional behaviour by police officers or staff so serious it could justify their dismissal.
A matter where no complaint has been received, but where there is an indication that a person serving with the police may have committed a criminal offence or behaved in a manner that would justify disciplinary proceedings.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
Quarter 1 covers 1 April - 30 June Quarter 2 covers 1 April - 30 September Quarter 3 covers 1 April - 31 December Quarter 4 covers the full financial year (1 April - 31 March).
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.
Used to house anyone who has been detained.
Complainants have the right to appeal to the IOPC if a police force did not record their complaint or notify the correct police force if it was made originally to the wrong force.
The purpose of an investigation is to establish the facts behind a complaint, conduct matter, or DSI matter and reach conclusions. An investigator looks into matters and produces a report that sets out and analyses the evidence. There are three types of investigations: local, directed and independent.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
A person who makes a complaint about the conduct of someone serving with the police.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
List of officers and staff who have been dismissed from policing, or would have been if they had not retired or resigned.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
An independent judicial officer, the coroner enquires into deaths reported to him/her.
A breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour that would justify at least a written warning.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
A record is made of a complaint, giving it formal status as a complaint under the Police Reform Act 2002.
This is a format where information is written in plain English and short sentences.
The IOPC must be notified about specific types of complaint or incidents to be able to decide how they should be dealt with.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
Casework involves assessing appeals. Casework staff also have a role in overseeing the police complaints system to help ensure police forces handle complaints in the best possible way.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
Conduct includes acts, omissions, statements and decisions (whether actual, alleged or inferred). For example: language used and the manner or tone of communications.
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.

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An act of parliament that provides the core framework of police powers to combat crime and provide codes of practice for the exercise of these powers.
Leads and manages the development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The body that represents the interests of all police constables, sergeants, and inspectors.
Deals with someone’s inability or failure to perform to a satisfactory level, but without breaching the Standards of Professional Behaviour.
Focuses on putting an issue right and preventing it from happening again by encouraging those involved to reflect on their actions and learn. It is not a disciplinary process or a disciplinary outcome.
Department within a police force that deals with complaints and conduct matters.
Refers to lower-level misconduct or performance-related issues, which are dealt with in a proportionate and constructive manner.
This means doing what is appropriate in the circumstances, taking into account the facts and the context in which the complaint has been raised, within the framework of legislation and guidance.
The average is calculated using the individual results of the forces in that most similar force group.
An investigation carried out by IOPC staff.
Carried out by the police under their own direction and control. The IOPC sets the terms of reference and receives the investigation report when it is complete. Complainants have a right of appeal following a supervised investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
This act sets out how the police complaints system operates.
How a police force is run, for example policing standards or policing policy.
An investigation carried out by the police under the direction and control of the IOPC.
The organisation that is responsible for assessing how to deal with a complaint. For example – whether it can be handled locally or reaches the criteria for referral to the IOPC. The appropriate authority may be the chief officer of the police force or the PCC for the force. If a complaint investigation finds that someone has a case to answer for misconduct, the appropriate authority is responsible for arranging any misconduct proceedings. If you make a complaint, the appropriate authority for your case will contact you.
An intelligence-led agency with law enforcement powers, it is also responsible for reducing the harm that is caused to people and communities by serious organised crime.
Policing bodies include police and crime commissioners, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
Investigations carried out entirely by the police. Complainants have a right of appeal following a local investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
IOPC guidance to the police service and police authorities on the handling of complaints.
A complaint or recordable conduct matter that doesn’t need to be referred to the IOPC, but where the seriousness or circumstances justifies referral.
Parameters within which an investigation is conducted.
A person is adversely affected if he or she suffers any form of loss or damage, distress or inconvenience, if he or she is put in danger or is otherwise unduly put at risk of being adversely affected.
This is where a manager deals with the way someone has behaved. It can include: showing the police officer or member of staff how their behaviour fell short of expectations set out in the Standards of Professional Behaviour; identifying expectations for future conduct; or addressing any underlying causes of misconduct.
This could be the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and an explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer involved.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and an explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer involved.
A breach of standards of professional behaviour by police officers or staff so serious it could justify their dismissal.
A matter where no complaint has been received, but where there is an indication that a person serving with the police may have committed a criminal offence or behaved in a manner that would justify disciplinary proceedings.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
Quarter 1 covers 1 April - 30 June Quarter 2 covers 1 April - 30 September Quarter 3 covers 1 April - 31 December Quarter 4 covers the full financial year (1 April - 31 March).
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.
Used to house anyone who has been detained.
Complainants have the right to appeal to the IOPC if a police force did not record their complaint or notify the correct police force if it was made originally to the wrong force.
The purpose of an investigation is to establish the facts behind a complaint, conduct matter, or DSI matter and reach conclusions. An investigator looks into matters and produces a report that sets out and analyses the evidence. There are three types of investigations: local, directed and independent.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
A person who makes a complaint about the conduct of someone serving with the police.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
List of officers and staff who have been dismissed from policing, or would have been if they had not retired or resigned.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
An independent judicial officer, the coroner enquires into deaths reported to him/her.
A breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour that would justify at least a written warning.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
A record is made of a complaint, giving it formal status as a complaint under the Police Reform Act 2002.
This is a format where information is written in plain English and short sentences.
The IOPC must be notified about specific types of complaint or incidents to be able to decide how they should be dealt with.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
Casework involves assessing appeals. Casework staff also have a role in overseeing the police complaints system to help ensure police forces handle complaints in the best possible way.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
Conduct includes acts, omissions, statements and decisions (whether actual, alleged or inferred). For example: language used and the manner or tone of communications.
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.

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Content

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Recommendation - Metropolitan Police Service, October 2015

Date of recommendation
Friday, 2 October, 2015
Date the force response is due
Wednesday, 18 November, 2015
Recommendations
The MPS should review their training and guidance in relation to strip and intimate searches and make clear in any future training and guidance when physical contact can or cannot be made with the anus or genitals of persons being searched.
Do you accept the recommendation?: 

Yes

Accepted action: 
  • Inspector Roget McMillan, Business Improvement Team, Met Detention (responsible for organisational learning matters within the custody context)
  • PC Ian Lynn-Mulholland, Curriculum Design Team, Met Training (responsible for training materials delivered to recruits)
  • Ted Henderson, Stop & Search Team, Territorial Policing Capability & Support (responsible for best practice in stop and search procedures by in-service officers)

Dates, relevant parties, and communications have where appropriate been confirmed by reference to emails, meeting minutes or other documents.  The following is based on a review of such documents, and the review in turn of this responsibility by the above parties.  The materials in this response have been reviewed on my behalf by Detective Sergeant Tanya Murray, the Directorate of Professional Standards’ Organisational Learning Manager.

Context: Types & Location of Searches

As your report notes, the lawful conduct of the three broad categories of personal search – intimate, strip and ‘JOG’ (i.e. ‘Jacket, outer clothing, gloves’) are principally governed by the provisions under Annexe A of Code C of PACE, which covers the conduct of Intimate and Strip Searches for detainees in custody, and Code A of the Police & Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (‘PACE’) which covers the application of stop and search powers for persons not under arrest but suspected of criminality.

As you are aware, a ‘strip search’ of a detainee in custody is defined as “...a search involving the removal of more than outer clothing (including shoes and socks)”, [Part B of Annex A of PACE Code C para 9].  Strip searches can only be conducted on a person who is in police detention.  This definition of a strip search does not apply to stop and search encounters.  One cannot conduct either a strip search or intimate search under stop and search powers, a distinction of paramount importance.

Stop & Search

As noted above the conduct of stop and search is governed by Code A.  Under this code an officer cannot ‘strip search’ or ‘intimate search’ a person, though a ‘more thorough search’, (e.g. under outer clothing to a T-shirt, for example) not exposing intimate body parts, may be conducted out of public view, and away from a station.  In effect, therefore, there are four levels of search that can be conducted in a stop and search encounter;

  1. A search involving the removal of no more than ‘JOG’ (‘jacket, outer clothing, gloves’).  This can be conducted by an officer of any gender in public.
  2. A more thorough search involving the removal of ‘JOG’, footwear and headwear. This can be conducted by an officer of any gender and should be out of public view, which may include in a police vehicle.
  3. A more thorough search (any more than JOG or footwear/headwear). This must be conducted by an officer of the same gender and out of public view, including in a police vehicle.
  4. A More Thorough search involving the exposure of Intimate Parts (MTIP)

This last must be conducted by an officer of the same gender and out of public view but explicitly not in a police vehicle.  This represents approximately 1% of all searches conducted.

Due to analogous nature of strip searches and MTIP searches, Code A 3.7 sensibly directs officers to follow the guidance set out in Code C for the conduct of strip searches, although it is not a strip search.

Searching of Detainees

As noted above Code C of PACE deals with the detention, treatment and questioning of persons and Annex A in particular covers the conduct of Intimate and Strip Searches for detainees in custody.

Much stricter rules govern the authority levels (inspector or above), location (police station or medical venues) and personnel (medical staff only) necessary to conduct a lawful intimate search.

An intimate search, as defined in s65 PACE, “...consists of the physical examination of a person’s body orifices other than the mouth”.  This would therefore include the anus, vagina, nostrils and probably ears.  The original Home Office Circular on PACE said that a physical insertion into the orifice would constitute an intimate search as would, “...any application of force to a body orifice or its immediate surroundings” [see Zander on PACE 6th Edition p253].

As has been demonstrated, there are a number of possible venues and a range of differing levels of search.  Additionally technical and legal issues may arise when seeking to search juveniles or persons requiring appropriate adults, particularly in urgent circumstances where the search is conducted in the absence of an appropriate adult.  As a consequence of the variety of circumstances of these searches, it is considered that no ‘one size fits all’ approach to officer and staff training is the best response.

Indeed it is perhaps in part due to the inherent complexity of the issue, that as your investigator notes, [paras 151-3], there is currently little national guidance in practical training for ‘searches’ outside of the officer-safety context:

“...the ACPO Personal Safety Manual refers the reader to a local POLSA (Police Search Advisor) for advice on strip searching...PACE stipulates there is to be no physical contact made with any orifice other than the mouth, however it does not define where an orifice starts and ends...It would also seem that formal training on strip searches to officers is limited or non existent, and does not go into detail about what areas of a person’s body can and cannot be touched.”

In the view of the MPS Directorate of Legal Services, it seems that the touching or application of force to areas in the immediate vicinity of any body orifice would constitute an ‘intimate search’ for the purpose of PACE.  It follows, therefore, that any physical contact made with any other area of the body would not constitute an ‘intimate search’, even though the contact may be made with what most people would consider an ‘intimate area’ (e.g. breasts).

Likewise any intentional physical contact with the genitals (e.g. moving or lifting them) should be considered as part of an ‘intimate search’.  This is because there is a clear proximity to an individual’s ‘body orifices’ (as referred to in s65 PACE) and it seems ill advised for different officers in individual cases to try and go about differentiating intimate body parts as closer and further away from orifices without a clear and structured direction on the subjects at least.

Meanwhile, law and practice in the proper conduct of searches continues to evolve, presenting trainers with an ever changing procedural landscape.  For example, following recent court decisions against the police regarding the long established practice of requesting detainees in a strip search to squat to ensure nothing is concealed, guidance from the national College of Policing, in their practice notes on ‘Detention and Custody, Control, Restraint, and Searched’, is that

‘...detainees should not be asked to squat during a strip search’. 

(https://www.app.college.police.uk/app-content/detention-and-custody-2/control-restraint-and-searches/, accessed 02/12/15).

As a result, a practice note was circulated to all MPS police officers and staff via an intranet news item revising strip search procedures to eliminate the offending command.  As this example illustrates, we endeavour always to strike a balance between necessary precautions to protect the safety of a detainee, officers and staff, versus a changing procedural landscape, and the undoubted intrusion into personal privacy these procedures involve.  As Michael Zander notes:

“intimate searches may include the physical investigation of a person’s vagina or anus without his or her consent.  It is hard to imagine a more intrusive or humiliating procedure which would be lawful.” (Zander on PACE 6th Edition 5-12).

Response to your recommendation

We accept in part the conclusion your investigator reached, having spoken to subject area experts in training, officer safety and detention [paras 98-101], that:  “...the MPS were not able to provide any evidence that officers receive any formal training on carrying out strip searches; instead knowledge from more experienced officers is passed on to lesser experienced officers in an informal manner ‘on the job’.” [para 97, our emphasis]

We believe however that there is a continuing role for practical ‘on the job’ learning for new officers from their more experienced peers, and this is reflected in the 5-week ‘Coached Patrol’ module all probationer officers experience at the start of their service, and which will include searching of persons in a variety of contexts.

In relation to stop and search and MTIP’s we would also note that to acknowledge this sensitive area of police work the MPS has in fact historically offered a variety of support mechanisms.  For example, as early as 2004 the Stops & Searches Team was formed, within the Territorial Policing Command, to oversee the implementation of the recommendations that came from the then-MPS scrutiny on MPS use of stop and search.  Since that time, this team has had its remit widened to incorporate all MPS stop and search issues, covering:

  1. Supervision and Leadership
  2. Transparency and openness
  3. Operational use
  4. Performance
  5. Intelligence and Tasking
  6. Training and Knowledge

The team officer practical guidance to practitioners through a variety of channels (presentations, reference documents, telephone advice etcetera) all accessed from their intranet web site.  Pre-eminent amongst there is the current ‘Stop & Search toolkit’, available 24/7 to all officers and staff, setting out clearly the requirements and limits of a MTIP and the distinction between a MTIP and an intimate search.  This is further supported by a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ page:

(http://www.met.police.uk/foi/pdfs/priorities_and_how_we_are_doing/corporate/stop_search_qa_october20115.pdf),

Available both internally on the MPS intranet, and externally available to the public through the MPS internet site; and a leaflet for distribution to members of the public, available to all Boroughs, which sets out in clear, jargon free terms police powers and obligations during the conduct of any search, incorporating an explanation of the different types.

The MPS is also the first force to introduce supervisory authority to perform an MTIP, in excess of the legal requirement.  To mirror the procedure for an in-custody strip search, the authorising officer must be a sergeant or above.  To ensure appropriate governance of the tactic, all MTIP’s are not recorded online, auditable, and monitored as part of the corporate performance meetings.

The conduct and grounds required for MTIP’s are covered by the Stop & Search Team in regular ‘Masterclass’ presentations which are delivered to front line officers.

Meanwhile, in addition to their Coached Patrol experiences, all recruits receive a basic training in the practical, legal and officer safety aspects of Section 1 PACE Searches; whilst custody officers and staff receive an enhanced level of training taking in the additional obligations raised by the strip and intimate searches which most commonly occur in a custody context.

In light of your recommendation however, I can confirm that the following enhancements to this flexible response have been undertaken:

PC Lynn-Mulholland confirms that, effective immediately, the lesson plans delivered to all probationer officers during their Regional Learning Centre attendances have been revised.  In stop/search input for all recruits there will now be a discussion on the different types of search i.e. Jacket, Outer clothing and Gloves; more than Jacket, Outer clothing and Gloves; Strip search; and Intimate search.

During the input of the detention procedure there will not be a more in depth session on strip searching.  Officers will have already been taught the theory on their Certificate in Knowledge of Policing (CKP) course, and this input will aim to consolidate that learning.  In practical terms, this will be carried out by splitting the class into small groups and having the trainer pose the following questions:  “What is a strip search, when can you carry out a strip search and what are your actions under PACE whilst carrying out a strip search?”  In addition to this the trainer will elicit from the students what one can and cannot touch and at what point the search would become an intimate search, including relevant authorities.  A question will also be added to the appropriate exam to confirm that the students have retained this learning.

Meanwhile, Met Detention have developed a ‘fact sheet’ for all officers on the proper conduct of Strip Searches, which will be available from their website, and available to all officers about to embark on this task.

Finally, I am advised that Met Training are currently liaising with Thames Valley Police regarding obtaining access to a ‘strip searching’ training package they have developed for serving officers.  If this is found to be suitable, it will be made available for use on serving officers’ regular professional development days.

We will of course also respond positively to any national initiatives from the College of Policing, or moves towards an ‘accredited professional practice’ stance on this issue, should these be forthcoming as a result of your separate national recommendation.

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