Met Strip Searches 4,600 Children

17 March 2014, 11:34 | Updated: 17 March 2014, 11:40

Over the last 5 years Met police have strip searched 4,600 children.

The figures have been collected by the Guardian newspaper under the Freedom of Information Act.

Children between the ages of 10 and 16 were asked to remove their clothes before being searched by officers.

Around a third of them were then released without charge.

Scotland Yard have defended the figures, saying strip searching is vital to identify and seize evidence and ensure the safety of detainees.

The Met also claims that the numbers peaked in 2010 and since then have fallen by 18% - the number of girls strip searched in 2013 was half that of three years previously.

"There is no evidence to support the assertion that strip searching of juveniles has become routine," the statement to Heart reads.

"Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies and Prisons undertake regular joint inspections of MPS custody suites and records; they have found the use of strip search to be proportionate and appropriate."