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CITYMATTERS.LONDON May

CITYMATTERS.LONDON May 11 - June 7 2022 | Page 3 NEWS subscribe to our newsletter at citymatters.london Met police carried out 600 strip searches on children CHILDREN between the ages of 10 and 12 have undergone full strip searches by the Metropolitan Police, according to figures seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, writes Joe Talora, Local Democracy Reporter. In total, nearly 600 under-18s have been subject to strip searches where intimate parts are exposed by officers between 2018 and 2021. The figures have been obtained amid controversy over the case of Child Q, a 15-year-old black schoolgirl who was removed from an exam when wrongly suspected of having cannabis and stripsearched while on her period by two police officers, without an appropriate adult present. London Assembly Green Party member Caroline Russell, who obtained the data from the force, said she was disturbed by the number of children strip-searched by police, suggesting they “should be engaging with youth workers not the police”. The figures reveal that four children in an age bracket between 10 and 12 were subjected to searches where intimate parts were exposed in the past four years. A further 135 young people aged between 13 and 15, and 452 aged 16 or 17, were also strip-searched by police in the same period between 2018 and the end of 2021. The strip searches were all carried out under stop and search powers — where the child may not have been arrested. Russell said: “The police have enormous power allowing them to stop and search and strip-search Londoners. “There may be some circumstances where this is needed, but Londoners and the people who police us need an urgent conversation about the way these powers are used in relation to the strip searching of children.” The Met has said it follows College of Policing national guidelines and codes of practice for all types of searches. A cleaner City It is reviewing its policy towards stripsearches for under-18s in light of the Child Q case, and is introducing a pilot in Hackney and Tower Hamlets where an inspector will need to give approval before a strip-search takes place. Anyone under the age of 18 who is searched is supposed to be accompanied by an adult. When done in custody, strip searches are performed in a cell without CCTV and the detainee is not required to remove all their clothing at once, only revealing one section at a time. The Child Q case sparked an outcry last month when a safeguarding report revealed her ordeal in December 2020. THE City of London Corporation’s main decision-making body has voted in favour of a survey into existing transportation schemes across the Square Mile. In a motion passed at the Court of Common Council, elected members at the City’s governing body have agreed to review all traffic restrictions currently in force. The survey will look at specific justifications for the restrictions and whether schemes comply with existing policy. The motion also commits to a review of restrictions at Bank Junction. Currently only buses and cycles are able to pass through the junction between 7am and 7pm on weekdays. The amended motion, as agreed by the Court of Common Council, read: “This Under scrutiny Two female officers have been removed from frontline duties while the Independent Office for Police Conduct finalises a report into the incident. An investigation found racism was likely to have been an “influencing factor” in the search. The figures show that last year police carried out 4,286 strip searches. Black people made up a third of those. To carry out a more thorough search, an officer must reasonably suspect that the person is using a piece of clothing to conceal an illegal item. Scotland Yard said: “We know the lasting impact any search can have and we must have full regard for the dignity and welfare of the person being searched.” Corporation to survey traffic orders across the Square Mile Honourable Court notes and reaffirms its support for the Transport Strategy (adopted in May 2019) – including the prioritisation of the needs of people walking especially considering the imminent and very welcome opening of the new Elizabeth Line – the Climate Action Strategy and the Corporate Plan.” The Planning and Transportation Committee will deliver findings by October and details of any proposed consequential review of traffic orders by December 2022. The City Corporation’s current Transport Strategy includes key targets on enabling and prioritising space for pedestrians and cyclists, reducing motor traffic, improving air quality and eliminating death and serious injuries on City streets. Epping Forest to be part of nationwide Jubilee celebrations THE City of London Corporation’s open spaces are set to be part of an ‘Ancient Canopy’ to celebrate Platinum Jubilee. Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches and Ashtead Common have been chosen as part of a nationwide network of 70 ancient woodlands to be dedicated to the Queen in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee. The initiative, which will celebrate Her Majesty’s 70 years of service, was launched by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, who is Patron of tree planting initiative The Queen’s Green Canopy. The Ancient Canopy is being billed as an opportunity to protect and appreciate ancient woodlands and trees. A Black Mulberry tree in the grounds of the Keats House Museum, Hampstead, has also been dedicated as an ancient tree as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy. The mulberry tree grows in the garden of the house where Romantic poet John Keats wrote some of his most famous poems including Ode to a Nightingale, said to have been written in the garden. Caroline Haines, Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Open Spaces Committee, said: “We are thrilled to have a number of our woodlands celebrated and recognised in the Queen’s Green Canopy. “It is a chance to highlight the heritage of these wonderful ancient trees, whilst teaching about the importance of their conservation and how we must continue to work hard preserving them. “These woodlands hold memories and stories for so many, and we want them to be there in years to come for future generations to enjoy.” The Queen’s Green Canopy aims to raise awareness of these treasured habitats and the importance of conserving them for future generations. The City Corporation manages over 11,000 acres of open space in London and south east England, including Epping Forest and Hampstead Heath, and over 200 smaller sites in the Square Mile, investing over £38million a year. Burnham Beeches

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