These searches will only take place in exceptional circumstances. A strip search or intimate search should only be carried out if a police officer has reasonable grounds for believing that you may be concealing anything that is likely to cause physical harm or injury to you or another person. Specifically, if the police think that you have concealed a class A drug or a weapon and have refused to hand this over.
A strip search is a search involving the removal of more than your outer clothing (outer clothing includes your shoes and socks) and should only be requested when it is considered necessary to remove an article which a detainee would not be allowed to keep, such as a weapon or drugs. A strip search is performed by an officer of the same sex and as quickly as possible in a place where you can not be seen by anyone else. Every effort should be made to seek your co-operation in this search.
An intimate search is a physical examination of a person’s body orifices other than the mouth. It is usually only carried out with your consent and can only be conducted without your consent if the situation is thought to be life threatening; for example, if the police suspect you are armed or have ingested drugs. An intimate search can only be carried out by a qualified medical professional such as a nurse or doctor and should take place at a doctor’s surgery or hospital.