The woman had to strip completely in the cell – the police had to pay high fines
Yvonne Farrell was arrested in August 2018 after sitting in her partner’s car, which she was about to tow. But her nightmare begins at the police station, because she is forced to undress. After filing a lawsuit, the police now have to pay high compensation.
It’s August 2, 2018: Yvonne Farrell arrived at Hertfordshire Police Station and was arrested when she refused to reveal her name. In her cell, she is monitored at all times with a surveillance camera. Police officers told her to take off her clothes and gave her only a cropped, tight top and hot pants as an alternative.
The 50-plus woman was very uncomfortable with this: “Listen, this isn’t appropriate clothing. I need something tall to wear.” Because Yvonne Farrell is Rastafarian: According to this belief, women should dress modestly and not wear tight pants that are too short. Since the officers did not give her any other clothes, Farrell sat completely naked in her cell for several hours.
Police force a young woman to take off her clothes: “You humiliated me”
In principle, police officers are allowed to undress an arrested person if they assume that the person could injure themselves or be attached to them, or that the clothing is considered evidence or can be used to escape. According to Farrell, police officers referred to this rule: “We know nothing about you, so you can hurt yourself, and we take off your clothes.”
Yvonne Farrell explains in the interview that they should have respected her and her religion and not given her “teenage clothes”: “It just shows that they wanted to humiliate me – they humiliated me.”
At first, her complaint was rejected
After her release, Yvonne Farrell filed a complaint with the police. After this was refused, she hired a lawyer who specializes in lawsuits against the police. Successfully: The police have apologized for the way Farrell was treated and agreed to pay £45,000 in compensation. But they did not respond to her allegations that she was under duress.
Then the Deputy Chief of Police of Hertfordshire wrote her an apology: “I agree you should not have been arrested.” She also apologized for any injuries she sustained as a result of the arrest.
Yvonne Farrell now lives in the Caribbean
Because of this experience, from which she also suffered physical and psychological consequences, Farrell moved to the Caribbean. The worst thing for her was that the officers involved tried to get away with it when their first complaint was dismissed.
Farrell’s case is not unique to Britain. Former police officers said police officers need more understanding of minority groups: Sir Peter Fahey, former chief of Greater Manchester Police, said officers need to be equipped to deal with a complex and diverse society with much greater expectations and responsibilities.
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