Essex

Essex Police officers on final warnings after strip searching teen

Two officers who strip searched a 16-year-old in the back of a police van have been given final written warnings.

A five-day police misconduct panel heard the youth was strip searched three times in a single month in Southend, without an appropriate adult being present.

Both PC Ian Patterson and PC Michael Brimfield have admitted breaches in their duties and responsibilities.

The panel concluded the actions of both officers amounted to gross misconduct.

The case against the two officers centred on a series of incidents in which the youth - referred to in the case as Boy R - was searched by police in August 2014.

He first came to the police force's attention when he was found in the car of a suspected drug dealer.

'They failed'

The panel was told there was no suggestion the searches themselves were inappropriate, however they should have taken place in the proper location and with a responsible adult present.

After the hearing earlier, Det Ch Supt Steve Worron, of Essex Police, said: "It was proven that both officers failed to exercise their duties properly in August 2014. They failed to consider the vulnerability of a 16-year-old boy adequately.

"The powers available to police officers to stop and search those suspected of being involved in the supply of Class A drugs are vital in tackling crime.

"However it is absolutely essential that officers act within the law, codes of practice and national guidance when exercising these powers."

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