A Metropolitan Police officer has been given a final written warning after a “degrading” strip search of a woman in Lewisham.

The final warning comes after seven-day misconduct meeting by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and will remain on his record for four years.

The panel found PS Hussey failed to “respect the woman’s dignity as an individual or human being” and that “the way the strip search was conducted appeared to have failed to comply with the law, police policy and could be perceived as degrading”.

The woman was arrested on May 9, 2020, after officers stopped a car that was being driven erratically in Lewisham – she was a passenger in the vehicle.

The driver was arrested, and the woman was detained for a drugs search.

Video footage of the woman’s arrest was widely shared on social media causing the victim to put in a formal complaint. When the woman resisted officers, they used force and took her to the ground.

She was then arrested for obstructing the drugs search and assaulting police before being taken to Lewisham Police station.

She was strip searched and nothing was found, but the IOPC found that PS Hussey failed to inform the woman she was to be strip searched or to explain why or how it would be carried out.

They also did not try gain her cooperation with the search.

Male officers, including PS Hussey, were present during the initial part of the strip search and intermittently throughout.

There was also CCTV in the cell, and she was not informed of this.

PS Hussey did not write an adequate entry on the custody record explaining his reason for the strip search.

In March 2021, the police force held a misconduct hearing for PS Hussey and another officer, PC Samantha Ryan, and the force disagreed with IOPC’s findings that incident came under gross misconduct.

It was also alleged that PC Ryan used excessive force during the arrest of the woman and that she was disrespectful towards her but it was later noted that the forced used was reportedly reasonable in the circumstances.

She also allegedly participated in a strip search which was illegal but the case against PC Ryan was not proven.

Body Worn Video (BWV), CCTV and mobile phone footage, custody records, incident logs, and radio transmissions, accounts from other the officers present and a statement from the complainant were used to decide the outcome of the case.

IOPC regional director Sal Naseem said: “Anyone who is in police custody is entitled to be treated with respect and courtesy.

“Our investigation found the way the strip search was conducted appeared to have failed to comply with the law, police policy and could be perceived as degrading.

“Officers never explained to the woman what was happening and her questions were ignored.

“This incident was highly distressing for her and undermines wider public confidence in the Metropolitan Police Service.

“As the officer in charge of the strip search, the independent panel has rightly found that PS Hussey failed in his responsibilities to safeguard her welfare, protect her legal rights and ensure she was treated with dignity and respect.”