Met police apologise for "sexist, derogatory" language used in strip-search 1 year ago

Met police apologise for "sexist, derogatory" language used in strip-search

An investigation into the incident remains ongoing.

The Metropolitan Police has apologised and paid compensation to a woman after it emerged that officers used "sexist, derogatory and unacceptable language" while strip-searching her.

As the Guardian reports, the apology comes after CCTV footage caught officers commenting on Dr Konstancja Duff's body hair, as well as commenting on her underwear. Dr Duff was forcibly strip-searched after she attempted to offer legal advice to a 15-year-old who was caught in a stop-and-search.

She had been arrested on suspicion of obstructing and assaulting police, charges which were later dropped. Dr Duff was subsequently bound at her feet and hands and pinned to the floor as three female officers cut her clothes off.

In the footage obtained, derogatory comments from male and female officers can be heard.

One says: "Treat her like a terrorist, I don't care."

Another asks the female officers if they found anything "untoward" on Duff, to which one replies "A lot of hair" while the others laugh.

Later, one officer says: "Sorry, sorry, what's that smell?"


His colleague replies with: "Oh, it's her knickers, yeah?"

A female officer returning from the search then says: "I feel disgusting, I'm going to need a shower." Another asks if Duff is "rank", while a male officer says that her clothes "stink".

In a statement apologising for the comments made by the force, Inspector Andy O'Donnell of the Met's directorate of professional standards said: "I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely and unreservedly apologise for the sexist, derogatory and unacceptable language used about you and for any upset and distress this may have caused.

"I hope that settlement of this claim and this recognition of the impact of what happened that day will enable you to put this incident behind you."

Duff says that the incident highlights the "racism, misogyny and sexual violence" that are "normalised in policing".