Nottingham lecturer strip-searched by Met Police was 'frozen with fear'

Dr Koshka Duff says officers degraded and dehumanised her, ITV News Central Reporter Callum Watkinson reports

A Nottingham University lecturer has said she was "frozen with fear" when police cut off her clothes and strip-searched her while officers used "dehumanising" language.

Dr Koshka Duff was detained in London in 2013, whilst trying to give advice to a teenager who was himself under arrest. 

Nine years later, the Metropolitan Police have apologised to Dr Koshka Duff for her experience in custody.

In an interview with ITV News Central, Dr Duff said officers degraded and dehumanised her.

The philosophy lecturer said: "I was pinned to the floor of the cell by three officers.

"I was handcuffed behind my back - they were kneeling on me and kind of hit my head off the concrete floor and they were kind of strangling me with my scarf.

"They tied my legs together and cut off my clothes with scissors.

She continued by saying: "I was terrified, it felt like they were really quite sadistic and had a completely dehumanising attitude towards me and that they could do what they wanted.

"I was completely alone in there and I was really frozen with fear and just the pain of it". 

In footage of the incident, reported by the Guardian, police officers can be heard to say of Dr Duff, “was she rank?” and “her clothes stink”.

In another clip, one officer references a “smell” and then another officer says “Oh, it’s her knickers”.

Philosophy lecturer Dr Duff was arrested in 2013 Credit: Tess de la Mare/PA

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said what had happened was “utterly disgraceful”.

He tweeted: “I strongly condemn the derogatory and sexist actions towards Dr Duff. The Met are right to have apologised for this appalling incident. Women in our city must be able to trust the police.”

It has taken an official complaint, an IPCC enquiry, a judicial review, a disciplinary process, a crowd-funded civil suit and nearly eight years for Dr Duff to get an apology. 

Met Police apology

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: “In November 2021, the Met settled a claim following the arrest of a woman in Hackney in May 2013.

"We have sincerely apologised to the complainant for the language used while she was in custody and any distress caused.

“Following the conclusion of the civil claim, allegations of misconduct relating to these comments were referred to our Directorate of Professional Standards and are currently being investigated.

“This investigation remains ongoing.”