Home London News Officer Hussey ‘strip-searched woman in front of male officers’

Officer Hussey ‘strip-searched woman in front of male officers’

by
Metropolitan Police

PS Dru Hussey, a male Metropolitan Police officer was deemed to have ‘departed from the law’ after conducting an intimate strip-search on a female in front of male officers in a CCTV-monitored cell. A misconduct panel cleared his colleague, PC Samantha Ryan, after allegations of excessive force and degrading treatment.

On Saturday May 9th 2020, at roughly 11pm, South London police detained and arrested a woman driving a Black Ford Fiesta for failing to stop, drink-driving, and ‘cannabis’ posession after they deemed her to be driving erratically. She was later arrested for obstructing a drugs search and assaulting an officer, put in a leg restraint, handcuffed, and taken into Lewisham Police Station to be processed.

PS Hussey contravened policy by not warning the woman that she was about to be intimately strip searched; he did not inform her about the processes about to befall her at all. In response, the officer claimed he was ‘stressed’.

The search then was conducted in a live CCTV-monitored cell, where she was stripped naked despite policy being that detainees undress themselves, and that they are never required to be completely nude. Male officers were present at various points of the search.

The woman said she felt “confused”, “lonely and vulnerable”, and had “no idea why her genitals needed to be searched”. Footage shows her saying “Don’t touch me without telling me what you are doing to me”.

The misconduct panel concluded PS Hussey breached standards in regards to all allegations by the Independent Office of Police Conduct and this amounted to Gross Misconduct.

PS Hussey was not sacked and was instead handed a 4-year written warning after considering his record and previous character.

The panel wrote: “The panel also does not consider that dismissal without notice would be a proportionate and appropriate sanction given its findings. This was an officer acting in accordance with legitimate policing purposes but getting it wrong. It was an isolated incident and out of character and therefore dismissal would be a disproportionate outcome given the Panel’s specific findings.”

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