'I'd do it again': Woman subjected to 'dehumanising' strip-search stands by activism

29 January 2022, 20:53 | Updated: 29 January 2022, 20:56

By Tim Dodd

A woman apologised to by the Met for a "sexist" and "unacceptable" strip-search after she was arrested for intervening in a stop-and-search says she'd "absolutely" do it again.

It comes as shocking footage was released showing a sergeant ordering officers to treat Dr Konstancja Duff "like a terrorist" whilst staff laughed and called her "rank" commenting on the amount of body hair she had. 

The philosophy lecturer was detained at a police station in the capital in 2013, having been arrested after trying to offer a 15-year-old a card with a list of legal advice during a stop-and-search on an east London estate.

Natasha Devon asked Ms Duff: "Would you do it again, would you offer an advice card if you saw a stop-and-search happening today?"

"Yes, absolutely," she replied.

"I think bystander intervention skills are really, really crucial in holding police accountable, because the official mechanisms of accountability, we've seen, do nothing, they just rubber stamp their actions.

"So what really has to make a difference, is at the point of policing... they have to be watched."

Read more: 'Humiliated' lecturer tells LBC Met Police are 'pathetic' for 'degrading' strip-search

Ms Duff continued: "That means not just people knowing their own rights, because I knew my rights and they rode roughshod over them, but it means also having solidarity when you see someone else who's being targeted.

"It's that kind of collective understanding that can hold the police accountable. Like we saw in Glasgow when immigration officers were grabbing people's neighbours, their neighbours came out and said 'no you can't do that'.

"It's that kind of solidarity that's going to produce change, I think."

Read more: Exclusive LBC poll: Only half of Londoners trust the Met

Read more: Senior Met officers sacked for 'appalling' treatment of staff and misuse of credit card