Child Q and her family have taken a decision not to give interviews to the press at this stage in an effort to protect Child Q and her privacy. The family request that there be no speculation as to their identities or the identity of Child Q’s school which could, in turn, result in Child Q’s identity becoming known.
Child Q said: “I want to thank the thousands of people across the world of all backgrounds who have offered me support – both publicly and through messages conveyed to my legal team – following everything I’ve been through. I know I am not alone.”
Child Q’s mother said: “We now look to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) to make sure there is an effective investigation into the officers involved so they are individually held to account and face real consequences for what they have done.
"We expect the school to reflect on the findings of the City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Partnership report and take necessary action against all members of staff involved.”
Florence Cole, an Education & Community Care solicitor at Just for Kids Law, said: “From the education aspect, there is still ongoing correspondence with the school following the initial complaint launched by Child Q and her mother in 2020; in which they seek to hold the school to account and to ensure this never happens again to any other child.
“No child should be subjected to such an ordeal, and it is hoped that the school will reflect and consider the detrimental effects and negative impact that adultification, disproportionate sanctioning and the over policing of black children has on their emotional, physical, and mental wellbeing, particularly in light of the City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Partnership report and its findings.
“All children should feel safe in schools and parents should feel reassured that their children will be kept safe; and that the correct policies, practice, and procedures are followed.
“This is an appalling, shocking case which illustrates wider problems in schools and communities about the treatment of black children which unfortunately is systemic; and the lack of safeguarding and the failure to recognise the ripple effects of trauma that follows, long after such an ordeal.
“As the government sets guidance for schools, we strongly urge it to learn from the failings in this case.”
Chanel Dolcy, a solicitor specialising in police misconduct and claims against public authorities at Bhatt Murphy, said: “Child Q has launched civil proceedings against the Metropolitan Police and relevant school. She seeks to hold both institutions to account including through cast iron commitments to ensure this never happens again to any other child.
“The Metropolitan Police has seemed incapable of reform for generations, and it is difficult to say that will ever change. Nevertheless, this is a pivotal time for the Metropolitan Police as it awaits the appointment of a new Commissioner and so the family are calling on the Home Secretary and Mayor of London to ensure that only someone willing to declare publicly the persistence of institutional racism and institutional sexism in the Metropolitan Police is appointed.
“The family expect the new Commissioner to include affected communities in designing a plan to rid the force of these diseases and to affect that plan as a priority.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Florence Cole of Just for Kids Law represents Child Q in relation to the Education Law aspects of this case.
Chanel Dolcy of Bhatt Murphy Solicitors represents Child Q and her mother in relation to the civil proceedings and police complaint.