Strip Searches

chris brian made this Freedom of Information request to Avon and Somerset Constabulary

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The request was successful.

Dear Avon and Somerset Constabulary,

Can you provide me with the number of strip searches across all custody suites for the last 5 years, if possible broken down by age, ethnicity, and sex.

Yours faithfully,

chris

#Freedom of Information Requests, Avon and Somerset Constabulary

 

Corporate Information Management Department

Force Headquarters, PO Box 37, Valley Road,

Portishead, Bristol, BS20 8QJ

Facsimile 01275 814667

    

 

Private Our Reference 854/13

Mr C Brian Your reference  
Date 8^th of
[1][FOI #180182 email] October 2013

 

Dear Mr Brian

 

I write in connection with your request for information dated 7^th of
October 2013 relating to Strip Searches. This request will be dealt with
under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

Your request will now be considered and you will receive a response within
the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act, In some
circumstances Avon and Somerset Constabulary may be unable to achieve this
deadline if consideration needs to be given to the public interest test.
If this is likely you will be informed and given a revised time-scale at
the earliest opportunity.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

J Lovell

 

Freedom of Information Officer

Corporate Information Management Department

 

Please note;

1.     Requests and responses may be published on Avon and Somerset
Constabulary’s website (within 24 hours), some of which may contain a link
to additional information, which may provide you with further
clarification.

2.     Whilst we may verbally discuss your request with you in order to
seek clarification, all other communication should be made in writing.

3.     Avon and Somerset Constabulary provides you with the right to
request a re-examination of your case under its review procedure.

 

 

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#Freedom of Information Requests, Avon and Somerset Constabulary

7 Attachments

Corporate Information Management Department

Force Headquarters, PO Box 37, Valley Road,

Portishead, Bristol, BS20 8QJ

Facsimile 01275 814667

Email [email address]

Opening Hours: 08:00 – 17:00

 

 

 

 

 

Private Our Reference 854/13

Mr Chris Brian Your reference  

[1][FOI #180182 email] Date 05 November
2013
 

Dear Mr Brian

 

I write in response to your Freedom of Information request dated 7^th
October concerning strip searches. Specifically you asked:

 

Q1. Can you provide me with the number of strip searches across all
custody suites for the last 5 years, if possible broken down by age,
ethnicity, and sex.

 

Please see the table below for the total number of strip searches across
all custody suites:

 

+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Year | Male | Female | Total Searches |
|---------------------+------------+--------------+----------------------|
| 2008 | 636 | 140 | 776 |
|---------------------+------------+--------------+----------------------|
| 2009 | 755 | 176 | 931 |
|---------------------+------------+--------------+----------------------|
| 2010 | 866 | 213 | 1079 |
|---------------------+------------+--------------+----------------------|
| 2011 | 954 | 158 | 1112 |
|---------------------+------------+--------------+----------------------|
| 2012 | 1136 | 194 | 1330 |
|---------------------+------------+--------------+----------------------|
| 2013 (to date) | 872 | 186 | 1058 |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+

 

Please find the breakdown requested in the documents attached.

 

Please note Code of Practice C of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act
1984 deals with the detention, treatment and questioning of persons by
police officers and designated persons. Annex A specifies what are
intimate and strip searches and the action required by police officers in
each case.

 

A strip search may take place only if it is considered necessary to remove
an article which a detainee would not be allowed to keep and the officer
reasonably considers the detainee might have concealed such an article.
Strip searches shall not be routinely carried out if there is no reason to
consider that articles are concealed. Typically a custody officer may
authorise a strip search if it is reasonably suspected that a detainee has
concealed an item with which they could cause harm to themselves or
another, or has concealed a controlled drug, although other items such as
mobile phones or stolen items of evidence may also be sought.

 

When strip searches are conducted:

(a) A police officer carrying out a strip search must be the same sex as
the detainee

(b) The search shall take place in an area where the detainee cannot be
seen by anyone who does not need to be present, nor by a member of the
opposite sex except an appropriate adult who has been specifically
requested by the detainee;

 

(c) Except in cases of urgency, where there is risk of serious harm to the
detainee or to others, whenever a strip search involves exposure of
intimate body parts, there must be at least two people present other than
the detainee, and if the search is of a juvenile or mentally disordered or
otherwise mentally vulnerable person, one of the people must be the
appropriate adult. Except in urgent cases as above, a search of a juvenile
may take place in the absence of the appropriate adult only if the
juvenile signifies in the presence of the appropriate adult that they do
not want the adult to be present during the search and the adult agrees. A
record shall be made of the juvenile’s decision and signed by the
appropriate adult. The presence of more than two people, other than an
appropriate adult, shall be permitted only in the most exceptional
circumstances;

 

(d) The search shall be conducted with proper regard to the sensitivity
and vulnerability of the detainee in these circumstances and every
reasonable effort shall be made to secure the detainee’s co-operation and
minimise embarrassment. Detainees who are searched shall not normally be
required to remove all their clothes at the same time, e.g. a person
should be allowed to remove clothing above the waist and redress before
removing further clothing;

 

(e) If necessary to assist the search, the detainee may be required to
hold their arms in the air or to stand with their legs apart and bend
forward so a visual examination may be made of the genital and anal areas
provided no physical contact is made with any body orifice;

 

(f) If articles are found, the detainee shall be asked to hand them over.
If articles are found within any body orifice other than the mouth, and
the detainee refuses to hand them over, their removal would constitute an
intimate search, which must be carried out as in Part A to Annexe A, Code
C, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984

 

(g) A strip search shall be conducted as quickly as possible, and the
detainee allowed to dress as soon as the procedure is complete

 

A record shall be made on the custody record of a strip search including
the reason it was considered necessary, those present and any result.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

C Quartey

 

Freedom of Information Officer

Corporate Information Management Department

 

 

Please note:

1.     Requests and responses may be published on Avon and Somerset
Constabulary’s website (within 24 hours), some of which may contain a link
to additional information, which may provide you with further
clarification.

2.     Whilst we may verbally discuss your request with you in order to
seek clarification, all other communication should be made in writing
(including email).

3.     Avon and Somerset Constabulary provides you with the right to
request a re-examination of your case under its review procedure (copy
attached).

 

 

 

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