HC Deb 17 July 1879 vol 248 c632

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether he will cause inquiry to be made into the practice of stripping and searching all persons taken to police stations, whether male or female, or whether charged with criminal offences or not; whether the indiscriminate searching of persons, if it be so, not charged with any criminal act is necessary; and, whether the method of searching is properly conducted and not of a sort, as has been frequently alleged, to outrage decency and propriety?


was understood to reply that persons charged with felony and certain misdemeanours, and also drunken and riotous persons, were searched on being received at the police station, in order to secure the safe custody of their property, and to deprive them of any dangerous weapons while in custody. The search, however, was always conducted in the cell, and as decently as possible. In the case of female prisoners, a female searcher was appointed for the purpose. No complaint of any outrage upon decency had ever reached the Commissioner of Police, and if any case of that kind came before him (Mr. Assheton Cross), he would take care that the offender was punished.


asked whether the right hon. Gentleman had not been informed that a murderous conflict had taken place at Derby owing to the searching of a prisoner?


replied in the negative, and asked the hon. Gentleman to repeat the Question on Monday.