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Four officers informed they have no case to answer for misconduct re 2020 stop and search in SE17

News   •   Jul 28, 2021 17:30 BST

Four officers have been told they have no case to answer for misconduct following a complaint made by a man who was subject to a stop and search.

The complaint was received after the man was stopped and searched in a car in Walworth Road, SE17, on Tuesday, 5 May 2020.

This was referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) who carried out an independent investigation. Three officers, based at Central South BCU, were served with gross misconduct notices and another was served with a misconduct notice.

The IOPC found no evidence that officers racially profiled the complainant. It also found they had reasonable grounds to lawfully stop and search him, and that the decision to make the stop was based on local intelligence including knowledge of drug dealing and gang activity at the location.

The car was parked in a quiet street in a high crime area and drove off at speed when approached.

They also confirmed, through body worn video, that the officers did not know who was in the car before it was stopped, as it had tinted windows.

As a result, none of the officers had a case to answer for misconduct or gross misconduct.

The IOPC did recommend that the officers should be subject to reflective practice for making disrespectful comments about the complainant while not in his presence, and for failing to challenge those comments made by other officers, failing to follow body-worn video guidance, and failing to follow PPE guidance during the pandemic.

They were also told to attend a community stop and search event to improve understanding of the impact felt by those who have been subject to the tactic.

This recommendation has been accepted by the Met.

Following the incident, a senior officer from Central South BCU met with the driver of the vehicle. He has since led a stop and search workshop for new recruits and continues to work with the Met.