An average of 17 children are strip-searched by police every year, according to a Freedom of Information response.

Strip-searching involves the child being made to remove clothing and a police officer then performing a search of body cavities.

The police said that 16 strip searches of persons under 17 years old occurred in 2018, eight in 2019, 30 in 2020, 22 in 2021 and 11 in 2022.

Advocate Ian Kermode, who submitted the FoI, said: ‘Clearly, strip-searching is a very intrusive and potentially traumatic experience for those children involved.

‘This sensitive issue of strip-searching of children was recently highlighted in Northern Ireland where it was revealed that 27 juveniles (defined in Northern Ireland as persons under the age of 18) were strip searched in 2021.

‘Seventeen strip-searches of children per annum on average on the Isle of Man (population 86,000) compares disturbingly with only 27 strip-searches of children in the whole of Northern Ireland (population 1.8 million).’

He added that politicians across the political spectrum in Northern Ireland expressed serious concern about whether the strip-searching of children was necessary and proportionate.

‘The important issues of whether the strip-searches of children in the Isle of Man were carried out in the presence of an appropriate adult and whether any items of interest were actually found (e.g. drugs) is currently the subject of a separate FoI request, reply pending,’ Mr Kermode said.