Bishop of Leeds asks about the difficulties of challenging the police

The Bishop of Leeds asked a question about the difficulty of saying “No” to the police on 22nd October 2022, during a debate on an incident 2020 in which the Metropolitan Police had strip-searched a schoolgirl in Hackney:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, there is an underlying question here that came up in the Sarah Everard case: how do you say no to the police? What do the Government plan to do to encourage and support schools and public authorities in addressing that question?

Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con): The right reverend Prelate may have heard me say, when we discussed Sarah Everard’s murder, that I would not feel confident in saying no to the police if I were requested to do something. In a way, that is at the heart of this issue. It will all come out in the IOPC review, but did the school have confidence in saying, “Excuse me?” to the police or, “This is the way that we do safeguarding at this school”? That will all come out in the review. However, whatever the organisation, whether it is schools, teachers or the health service, we need to have confidence in challenging—not refusing but challenging—the police if we think they have got it wrong.


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