Three police officers face disciplinary proceedings after stop and search

Police 'Do not cross' tape
Police 'Do not cross' tape
Peter Byrne
Gareth Milner

By Gareth Milner

Published: 20/09/2021

- 14:18

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 11:25

Watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) began an investigation in March

Three police officers are facing disciplinary proceedings for potential gross misconduct after a black driver was allegedly racially profiled during a stop and search.

A 32-year-old man who was stopped in Lewisham, south-east London, on May 13 last year made an official complaint after he was handcuffed and his car searched under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Nothing illegal was found, he was not arrested and no further action was taken.

The man complained that he had been racially profiled, racially stereotyped, detained and searched due to his race and appearance, and that when requested, officers failed to provide their badge numbers and a receipt for the search.

Watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) began an investigation in March, and found that three officers had a case to answer for gross misconduct for breaching standards of professional behaviour for honesty and integrity in respect of an account given by one of them of the incident, and grounds provided by the other two to justify searching the car.

The IOPC also found that one of the officers had a case to answer for breaching standards of equality and diversity, and has directed the Metropolitan Police to hold a disciplinary hearing for all three.

A fourth officer was found to have a case to answer for misconduct for breaches of authority, respect and courtesy, and of duties and responsibilities, and the Met has been directed to hold a misconduct meeting over the matter.

IOPC regional director Sal Naseem said: “Stop and search is an important policing tool, but it is an intrusive power and affects the trust and confidence that black communities have in the police service.

“It is vital it is used with care. Our investigation found evidence indicative of racial bias on the part of one officer and further breaches of standards of professional behaviour by all three.

“They will now have to answer those allegations at a disciplinary hearing which we have directed to be held.”

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