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Date Responded 07 October 2022

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked:

1. How many strip searches have been carried out by the force from July 2017 to date? Please break down by year.

2. How many of those searches were of children? Please breakdown by year and age group.

For each incident of strip search involving a child, please indicate where possible:

3. the reasonable grounds for that search

4. the gender of the child

5. the age of the child

6. the location of the search (i.e. school, police station, street, etc)

7. whether the officer consulted with a supervisor before conducting the search

8. whether the search was conducted by an officer of the same sex as the person being searched

9. whether an appropriate adult was present

10. whether the search took place prior to arrest

11. whether arrest followed

12. How any complaints has the force received regarding the strip searching of children?

13. For each complaint received, please provide the grounds of the complaint and the outcome.

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with both the Professional Standards and Corporate Development Departments of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you with the below noted .

• Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.

• The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.

• To avoid doubt a strip search is a search involving the removal of more than outer clothing. In this code, outer clothing includes shoes and socks.

• Please note that the data has been presented in such a manner as to avoid the application of exemptions relevant under the Act (Section 40 – Personal Information) to withhold due to low numbers, and these will not be broken down further.
































3-6 and 9-11.

7. A Custody Sgt would authorise a strip search once facts have been given by the Officer In Charge (OIC). The only time a supervisor would not authorise would be on a Sec 23 drugs search whereby the OIC was using the station to search on safety/dignity grounds and nowhere else suitable to search. This is not an arrest and merely a power to search.

8. A police officer carrying out a strip search must be the same sex as the detainee.

12. None.

13. N/A.

Reasonable Grounds & Count




Appropriate Adult

Prior To Arrest


Misuse of Drugs Act 1971,

Section 23 x 10


Police and Criminal Evidence

Act 1984, Section 1 x 1

F x 3


M x 8


15 x 1


16 x 6


17 x 4

House x 2

School x 1


Shopping Ctr x 1


Station x 4


Street x 3

N x 8


Y x 3

N x 4


Y x 7

No Further Action x 9


Summons/Charged by Post x 2

If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.

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