An independent inquiry is being launched into the use of strip searches and intimate body checks on women and girls by police in Manchester.
It comes after one woman claimed she was drugged and sexually assaulted in custody.
The inquiry, led by former victims’ commissioner Dame Vera Baird, will also assess the care given to female detainees.
It will investigate how effectively complaints are handled after release and if there is any inequality between the treatment of men and women.
Zayna Iman, 38, waived her anonymity to tell Sky News she believes she was drugged and sexually assaulted while she was held by officers from Greater Manchester Police. She obtained some CCTV footage from her time being held at a police station which shows her lying topless but there are two hours that GMP has failed to provide.
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The inquiry was ordered by Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, and deputy mayor Kate Green after three other women accused GMP of unjustified strip searches following arrests.
Ms Green insisted: “Women and girls must have confidence in their police force, particularly when reporting crime, and we want the inquiry to help enhance this.”
Earlier this month the police watchdog confirmed it had started an investigation after a woman claimed she was stripped and sexually assaulted while in custody.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct said it received two referrals from GMP linked to complaints made by the woman regarding her detention at Pendleton station in February 2021.
The Baird Inquiry will examine the experiences of complainants and decide whether policy and procedures are fit for purpose. Representatives from voluntary and community groups which support females will be among those to give evidence.
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