Dec 22, 2011
Following a managed Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation two officers from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) have been dismissed and a further two officers have received final written warnings after a misconduct hearing.
The hearing conducted by the MPS Directorate of Professional Standards, looked into the actions of six police officers in July 2009.
In the early hours of Friday, 17 July, 2009, a Citroen Saxo failed to stop for police officers and was pursued into the Grange Estate, East Finchley. Four men remained inside the vehicle while the driver decamped and was not traced.
In September 2009 a complaint alleging assault and excessive force was made by three of the men now aged 21, 33 and 35 (aged 18, 31 and 33 at the time), and the incident was referred to the IPCC, who decided to manage the investigation into the actions of the officers involved.
The investigation found that two of the occupants of the Citroen Saxo were forcibly removed from the vehicle by the officers, despite them being compliant. None of the occupants were arrested and all were detained without being told their rights or entitlements. During the course of their detention all three complainants sustained injuries of varying degrees, including a serious nose injury in the case of one of the men. The officers were unable to reasonably account for their actions and their use of force.
The IPCC submitted a file to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in January 2010 in connection with the assault allegations for which there was a statutory time limit but the CPS decided not to bring criminal proceedings.
When the investigation was completed in May 2010 the case was again referred to the CPS and in November 2010 the CPS decided not to bring any criminal proceedings.
Consideration was then given as to whether the actions of individual officers met the threshold for misconduct under the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2008. The investigation found there were individual failings by six officers, four amounting to gross misconduct, for which the MPS proposed that the four officers should face a misconduct hearing. The hearing concluded on Tuesday, 20 December.
Misconduct proceedings are pending for two further officers involved in the incident.
The panel found that the standards of behaviour for use of force and discreditable conduct were breached in respect of all four officers, and the breaches were so serious as to amount to gross misconduct.
The panel decided breaches by two officers, aged 40 and 37 based at Barnet police station, were so serious they were dismissed. Breaches by two other officers were less serious therefore they received final written warnings.
IPCC Commissioner for London Deborah Glass said:
“In this case the misconduct panel, which heard evidence both from the complainants and the police officers, found that it was the conduct of the police officers which escalated the incident and which led to the officers deliberately and unnecessarily using disproportionate force. The outcome of the hearing should give the public confidence that in those cases where the actions of police do cross the line, they are held to account.
“The police interact with the public daily on our streets and the overwhelming majority of these interactions do not result in complaints. But where the police use their powers to stop people, or to use force, they must do so reasonably and proportionately. People who feel aggrieved by police actions should make complaints – and this case demonstrates that where the evidence supports it, robust action will be taken.”
In addition, the IPCC investigation also made recommendations for areas of learning for individual officers and the MPS. These recommendations have been sent to the MPS.
Notes: For media enquiries please contact the IPCC Press Office on 0207 166 3028
An act of parliament that provides the core framework of police powers to combat crime and provide codes of practice for the exercise of these powers.
Leads and manages the development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The body that represents the interests of all police constables, sergeants, and inspectors.
Department within a police force that deals with complaints and conduct matters.
The average is calculated using the individual results of the forces in that most similar force group.
An investigation carried out by IPCC staff.
Carried out by the police under their own direction and control. The IPCC sets the terms of reference and receives the investigation report when it is complete. Complainants have a right of appeal following a supervised investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
This act sets out how the police complaints system operates.
How a police force is run, for example policing standards or policing policy.
An investigation carried out by the police under the direction and control of the IPCC.
An intelligence-led agency with law enforcement powers, it is also responsible for reducing the harm that is caused to people and communities by serious organised crime.
Investigations carried out entirely by the police. Complainants have a right of appeal following a local investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
A person is adversely affected is he or she suffers any form of loss or damage, distress or inconvenience, if he or she is put in danger or is otherwise unduly put at risk of being adversely affected.
IPCC guidance to the police service and police authorities on the handling of complaints.
Parameters within which an investigation is conducted.
This could be the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer complained about.
Consists of a chair, two deputy chairs, and commissioners – each responsible for specific police forces, guardianship work and individual cases.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever manner it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only take place in certain limited circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
Used to house anyone who has been detained.
Complainants have the right to appeal to the IPCC if a police force did not record their complaint or notify the correct police force if it was made originally to the wrong force.
The purpose of an investigation is to establish the facts behind a complaint, conduct matter, or DSI matter; and reach conclusions. An investigator looks into a complaint and produces a report that details the outcome of each allegation. There are four types of investigation: local investigation, supervised investigation, managed investigation and independent investigation.
A person who makes a complaint about the conduct of someone serving with the police.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
An independent judicial officer, the coroner enquires into deaths reported to him/her.
A record is made of a complaint, giving it formal status as a complaint under the Police Reform Act 2002.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
Casework involves assessing appeals. Casework staff also have a role in overseeing the police complaints system to help ensure police forces handle complaints in the best possible way.
The IPCC must be notified about specific types of complaint or incidents to be able to decide how they should be dealt with.
Conduct includes acts, omissions, statements and decisions (whether actual, alleged or inferred). For example: language used and the manner or tone of communications.
An application by a complainant for a police decision to be reviewed.