We are currently experiencing network problems with the desktop version of Police Oracle. We hope to have these resolved as soon as possible.

Met Sergeant given final written warning relating to strip search

The officer was given the sanction this week in relation to the strip search of a woman in Lewisham.

Sergeant Dru Hussey has this week been given a final written warning after a strip search he authorised did not comply with legal requirements.

In May 2020, a woman was arrested after officers from the Territorial Support Group stopped a vehicle that was being driven erratically. The driver was arrested and the woman, a passenger, was detained for a drugs search.

Force was used by officers when the woman resisted. She was taken to the ground and then arrested for obstructing the drugs search and assaulting police.

She was later strip searched at Lewisham police station – nothing was found on her and a charge of obstructing a drug search was later discontinued by the CPS. 

The IOPC began investigating in May 2020, after asking the Met to refer the matter to them following video footage of the woman’s arrest being shared online. The woman had also lodged a formal complaint.

The IOPC investigation concluded in March 2021 – at which point the regulatory body instructed the force to hold a misconduct hearing in relation to PS Hussey and PC Samantha Ryan, one of the arresting officers who also participated in the strip search.

The panel found PS Hussey correctly authorised the search but did not follow procedure in terms of his participation and oversight. He failed to inform the woman she was to be strip searched, why or how it would be conducted. Male officers, including PS Hussey, were present during the initial part of the strip search and intermittently throughout.

The search was conducted in a cell equipped with CCTV and no effort was made by PS Hussey to inform the woman of this or seek her cooperation with the search. In doing so, the panel found PS Hussey failed to respect the woman’s dignity as an individual or human being.

It was further noted the woman was in a lonely and vulnerable place and PS Hussey failed to protect and safeguard her rights. 

The panel also concluded that PS Hussey did not make an adequate entry on the custody record setting out his rationale for the strip search.

The final written warning will be valid for four years.  

Meanwhile, during the hearing it was alleged that PC Ryan had used excessive force during the arrest, that she was disrespectful to the woman and that she participated in a strip search which did not comply with the law.

The case against PC Ryan was found not proven and the panel noted that the force used during the arrest was reasonable in the circumstances.

Both officers had been placed on restricted duties during the investigation. 

Superintendent Wayne Matthews, Met Detention, said: “These allegations arose from a difficult situation with the woman involved resisting and restrained by officers.

“Regardless, strip search is an intrusive power we must use responsibly given the impact it can have, and we must follow procedure. The panel has found Sgt Hussey did not do so in this case.”

IOPC regional director Sal Naseem said: “Our investigation found the way the strip search was conducted appeared to have failed to comply with the law, police policy and could be perceived as degrading. Officers never explained to the woman what was happening and her questions were ignored. This incident was highly distressing for her and undermines wider public confidence in the Metropolitan Police Service.

“As the officer in charge of the strip search, the independent panel has rightly found that PS Hussey failed in his responsibilities to safeguard her welfare, protect her legal rights and ensure she was treated with dignity and respect.” 

Leave a Comment
View Comments 6
In Other News
Serving Met officer admits false imprisonment and assault
Dorset sergeant struck off for having phone sex with student officer
Dyfed-Powys anti-rip clothing pilot has developed a 'new culture'
Met forensic scientist cleared of misconduct in public office
Former Specials ‘colluded’ with each other after failing to deal with assault
Judicial review shouldn't be used as misconduct hearing 're-run'
Allegation against IOPC head ‘was known’ a month before resignation
‘Bottles and Stoppers’ chat group served with dismissal notices
More News