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Under 18's Strip Searches - 491/22

Date Responded 20 May 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:

Please could you provide the following information regarding strip searches (sometimes logged as further searches) or under 18s.

1. How many strip searches/further searches of under 18s were performed by officers in the following financial years:

1 April 2021 - 31 March 2022
1 April 2020 - 31 March 2021
1 April 2019 - 31 March 2020
1 April 2018 - 31 March 2019
1 April 2017 - 31 March 2018

Please provide a breakdown for each year by gender

Please provide a breakdown for each year by ethnicity

2. For each year - how many of the under 18s were handcuffed during the process

3. For each year - how many of those searches were released by police without charge

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Corporate Development Department 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 following caveats noted.

• The below figures are searches that were performed under Part 1. Section 1. Code A of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984 - Code A deals with a police officer’s legal powers to search a person and or any vehicle prior to making any arrest.

• Records with the flags 'Clothing removed?' or 'Part exposed?' have been reviewed alongside records where the free text would indicate a strip search.

• 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.




Financial Year’s

2017/18 – 2021/22

Strip Searches














Asian or Asian British


Chinese or other ethnic group







Financial Year’s

2017/18 – 2021/22

Under 18’s handcuffed





Financial Year’s

2017/18 – 2021/22

No further action



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.

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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