Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The Police Can’t Win…

PD had been arrested for being drunk and disorderly; she had a history of mental health problems. Her parents were not informed that she had been detained overnight. Three female officers carried out the strip search. She was put into a gown. Her pants were removed, supposedly because it was feared she could use the elastic to hang herself. CCTV from the cell shows her ripping her hair out and banging her head against the wall – evidence, it is said, that she felt degraded.
The family lost their case in the county court. Campaign organisations Just for Kids Law and the Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE) have intervened in the appeal court.
Oh, a bunch of pressure groups is pushing this? How surprising.
The appeal court hearing on Friday into the case of the girl, who was 14 at the time, will highlight concerns that officers are traumatising youngsters who often have no parent or appropriate adult present to support them.
By preventing them from killing themselves? Well, I’m fine with the possible consequences if the police don’t strip search. Are the parents?
Welfare organisations fear that strip-searching children in police stations is becoming routine, possibly because officers are increasingly anxious to prevent detainees from attempting suicide.
Well, how unusual! Since they are hauled over the coals when some looney-tunes manages it, with the usual baying mob in the progressive press, is it so surprising that they become risk-averse?
The girl’s mother told the Guardian: “My daughter had come into contact with the police quite a lot. She had been having mental health treatment. She had been stripped in the cells before but had always complied.
“On the first occasion she was only 12. It’s happened five times now. They were supposed to ring her clinical psychologist. None of the family was contacted.
“The officers said she was drunk but it was partially her condition. They had to wait for a female officer to arrive.
“At one stage she went unconscious. They stripped her and put her into a gown. She was left in her cell for 10 hours, until morning. She had never been so traumatised before. She told the county court that she was treated ‘like she wasn’t human’.”
Well, no, we’re a lot keener to preserve human life than we are that of an animal. That’s why they went to such lengths.

What would you prefer – a live daughter or a dead one? It’s as blunt as that – the police don’t have time to babysit everyshould be secure mental health facilities for these people, but there aren’t, so the police have to do the best they can until they are built.


Anonymous said...

another waste of everything!

Brightside Bob said...

Thankfully I don't have experience of Police cells.

Rather than removing clothing, shouldn't the 'things' from which detainees hang themselves be removed/redesigned?

Why aren't light fittings, etc not built (flush) into the ceiling, etc?

Anonymous said...

Brightside Bob,
Police cells have for a very long tome time been designed so that people cannot easily hang themselves or do harm to others or themselves. Never ever underestimate the ability of a person who wants to harm themselves to carry out the act. You would not believe the lengths people will go to, which is why cells have flush light fittings etc. In the end it does come down to a strip/intimate search (you would probably be surprised at what can put in various orifices- I know we were) and a constant watch. Waste of time? Not if it saves an IPCC investigation and criminal charges.

Brightside Bob said...

Re: Retired. Thank you.

"You would not believe the lengths people will go to..."

Sadly, I would.

JuliaM said...

"Rather than removing clothing, shouldn't the 'things' from which detainees hang themselves be removed/redesigned?"

As Retired points out, you can try to build a 'suicide proof cell' but humans are quite ingenious..