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You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 6 August 2008 – 23 June 2009 Police followed procedure in stripping solicitor — 23.12.2008
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 6 August 2008 – 23 June 2009 Police followed procedure in stripping solicitor — 23.12.2008
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 6 August 2008 – 23 June 2009 Police followed procedure in stripping solicitor — 23.12.2008

Police followed procedure in stripping solicitor — 23.12.2008

The CMC has found that police who stripped a woman in the Brisbane watchhouse and placed her in a smock last year acted lawfully and in accordance with established procedure.

Brisbane Solicitor, Emma Meadth, was arrested in the Queen Street Mall on 9 November 2007 after she failed to comply with a police direction to ‘move-on’.

The charge against her was dismissed in May this year, after a magistrate ruled that police had failed to give Meadth a reason for the direction.

The matter received media attention when the magistrate expressed shock at the fact Meadth had been forcibly stripped when taken to the Brisbane City watchhouse after her arrest.

However, CMC investigators have established that Ms Meadth failed to respond to mandatory questions about the state of her health, so police were obliged to treat her as being at risk of self-harm.

CMC Chairperson, Robert Needham, said Ms Meadth had her clothes removed and was placed in a tear-resistant smock after she failed to answer routine questions designed to test whether a prisoner is at risk of suicide or self-harm.

“The Operational Procedures Manual demands that police protect people who may be at risk, and the use of a tear-resistant smock is an appropriate response,” Mr Needham said.

“While her experience was undoubtedly harrowing, officers dealing with Ms Meadth were acting in line with procedural requirements which address duty of care concerns.

“These procedures have been developed with medical advice, and are in line with past coronial recommendations,” he said.

The CMC also concluded there was no evidence that Ms Meadth’s treatment was influenced by the fact she is a legal practitioner.


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Last updated: 18 January 2012
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