Met apologises to woman for ‘sexist, derogatory' language in strip-search
The Guardian|January 25, 2022
The Metropolitan police have apologised and paid compensation to an academic for “sexist, derogatory and unacceptable language” used by officers about her when she was strip-searched.
Damien Gayle
“What’s that smell? Oh, it’s her knickers,” officers at a north-east London police station said to each other after Dr Konstancja Duffwas held down on the floor and her clothes cut off. “Is she rank?” another said.

The Met apologised to Duff, an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Nottingham, after CCTV video capturing the officers’ conversations was disclosed to her as part of a civil action against the force.

Insp Andy O’Donnell, of the Met’s directorate of professional standards, told her: “I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely and unreservedly apologise for the sexist, derogatory and unaccept able language used about you and for any 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.”

Duffsaid: “In every detail the footage backed up what I had said in my statements for years and years.” Officers had claimed they had acted with professionalism, strip- searching her for her own safety because she would not give them her name.

“There was such a barrage of misinformation that they put out that I actually, even though I was there and I knew that it was false, had almost started to doubt myself,” she said.

“It was such an effective gaslighting: ‘We were just concerned for your mental health, that was why we had to – for your own good – forcibly strip you naked and mash you up.’

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