Hello I’m Philippa Fleming & I am the coordinator for Luton & Bedfordshire Green Party and a member of the Green Party Drug Policy Working Group committee.
I was devastated this week to learn about the strip search of Child Q from the people of colour community in a Hackney School which was instigated by her teachers, because they thought they could smell cannabis on her person. This was carried out by 2 female officers from Hackney police whilst on school premises. I was also horrified to learn that between 2008 and 2013 this happened to another 4,638 children which begs the question how many children have been searched in this way since 2013 other than child Q in 2020.
Luton & Bedfordshire is made up of 3 local authorities with the following people of colour demographics. Bedford Borough 28.5%, Central Bedfordshire 10.3% and Luton borough approximately 35-40%. I couldn’t find statistics from Bedfordshire police on this subject. But I did find a report that just 0.5% of racist complaints against Bedfordshire police were upheld. Since the education system has been privatised & no longer under local authority control it is unlikely that these statistics will ever be available.
As a women with approximately 20 years of experience of using cannabis flower products and who now holds a legal medical cannabis prescription, I couldn’t think of a worst way to store the cannabis product than to keep it in an intimate area of the body. Cannabis flower usually had very sharp and dense twigs attached to the flower. I have broken metal grinders using this product so goodness only knows what would happen to a person if they were to attempt to store cannabis in such a way, even if it was well wrapped usually in cling film or zip bag. I don’t know any one who identifies as a woman who would store their cannabis in this manner.
I call on the authorities to cease this and other similar practices immediately and I call on the citizens of this country to stand together to protest against these traumatic policies and procedures. Thank you for your time. Sending love and hugs to the people of colour community and those who are currently struggling to medicate.