Statement: Searches of children by police

In a statement, Nick Hobbs, Head of Advice and Investigations, said: “All children under 18 have the right to be treated with humanity, dignity and in a way that takes into account the needs of their age. Being strip searched can leave children humiliated and distressed and it should only be undertaken when there is clear evidence that it is required.

“We must be concerned when the number of searches where anything is found is so low as it suggests that many children may be undergoing body searches unnecessarily. This data should prompt Police Scotland to consider practice and training in this area.  

We need to take a human-rights based approach which treats children in conflict with the law with care, sensitivity, fairness and respect. Special attention must be given to their wellbeing and needs, including respect for their physical and psychological integrity.”

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