A sergeant from Surrey Police has been investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) after he ordered male officers to strip search a female suspect.

The IOPC said this week that the officer in question had breached the standards of professional behaviour by authorising a strip search of a female detainee on 21 December 2019.

Official police code of conduct says that any strip search must be conducted by officers of the same sex as the subject.

"Our investigation found that the sergeant believed that the female detainee needed to be searched immediately for her own safety and the safety of the staff and other officers.

"The sergeant also used the female detainee’s aggressive behaviour as a rationale for the necessity of an immediate search and he felt that officers could not wait for a female officer to assist the strip search," a spokesperson for the IOPC said.

After the IOPC and Surrey Police investigated and both found the officer to have a misconduct case to answer for, proceedings including the sergeant in question were called and concluded recently.

The IOPC said he had admitted misconduct and had since been ordered to undergo management advice as a sanction.

IOPC Regional Director Sarah Green said: “Our investigation was completed thoroughly and quickly.

"Strip searching a member of the opposite sex in this way was in breach of the standards expected of a police officer who has been rightly sanctioned as a result.”