Women’s safety in Greater Manchester Police custody under review

An independent inquiry into the experience of women and girls who are taken into police custody in Greater Manchester has been commissioned following a Sky News investigation.

The inquiry will have a particular focus on the use of strip searches and intimate searches and removal and replacement of clothing.

It will also assess the care given to female detainees as well as how effectively complaints are handled after their release and if there is any inequality between the treatment of men and women.

It follows a Sky News Investigation in which a woman alleged she was drugged and sexually assaulted while being held in custody by Greater Manchester Police.

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Are women safe in custody?

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, and Deputy Mayor Kate Green commissioned the inquiry, which will be led by Dame Vera Baird KC.

In a statement, Kate Green said: “The Mayor and I were both concerned when we saw recent reports in the media.

“When issues like these present themselves, we will face them head on and leave no stone unturned to establish what happened and what must be learnt.

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Strip searching: What are your rights?

“The safety of women and girls is a huge priority for the Mayor and me. We have made no secret of that before and it remains as important as ever.

“That is why we have acted quickly so we can be sure that women and girls have confidence that they will be treated with dignity by Greater Manchester Police if they report a crime, or are taken into custody, and that actions of staff are appropriate.

“Ultimately, women and girls must have confidence in their police force, particularly when reporting crime, and we want the Baird Inquiry to help enhance this.”

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