Use of Strip Searching - 594/22

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:

I am writing under the Freedom of Information Act to request the below information regarding the use of strip searching by your police force - that is, involving the removal of more than just the suspect’s outer clothing. For each of the years 2021, 2020, 2019, please provide the below information:

 

1. How many people have been strip searched in your police force area in each of the above years? Please include:

a. the individual’s age (If you are unable to give exact ages, please use the following brackets: 1-10; 11-14; 15-17; 18+);

b. the sex of each of those searched; and

c. their ethnicity.

 

2. Please indicate whether an appropriate adult was present during the search.

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with both the Crime 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 following caveat noted.

 

  • The below figures are searches that were performed under Part 5. Section 54 & 55 (also Part 4. Section 38) Code C of the PACE Act.  Code C lays out the requirements for detaining suspects and how they should be treated and questioned while in custody.  This includes the requirement to explain a person’s rights while detained.

 

1.

Year

Total

2019

2508

2020

2908

2021

2368

 

a.

Year

Age Group

11 - 14

15 - 17

18+

2019

2

21

2485

2020

2

16

2890

2021

0

20

2348

 

b.

Year

Female

Male

2019

585

1923

2020

573

2335

2021

419

1949

 

c.

Year

White

Black Or

Black British

Mixed

Not Stated

Asian Or

Asian British

Chinese Or Other

Ethnic Group

2019

2385

39

13

46

23

2

2020

2733

37

17

68

52

1

2021

2222

35

10

51

49

1

 

2.

Year

Not

Present

Present In

Police Station

Present In Rm With Child/Detainee

2019

2491

10

7

2020

2895

9

4

2021

2360

8

0

 

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.

 

Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another.  Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data.  For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.

 

The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police.  Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation.  In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.

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