Two Met officers dismissed for excessive force

By Ian Dunt

Two Metropolitan police officers have been dismissed and another two given written warnings after a complaint of excessive force was upheld.

The four men were unable to reasonably account for their actions and their use of force after following a car into an estate in east Finchley in 2009.

Despite an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation finding them guilty of gross misconduct, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) refused to bring charges against the men on two separate occasions.

"It was the conduct of the police officers which escalated the incident and which led to the officers deliberately and unnecessarily using disproportionate force," IPCC commissioner for London Deborah Glass said.

"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 event took place in July 2009, when six officers followed a Citroen Saxo into a Grange Estate after it failed to stop for police.

Three of the men in the car later made a complaint alleging assault and excessive force.

The IPCC found two of the men were forcibly removed from the vehicle despite being compliant.

None of the occupants of the car were arrested but all were detained without being told their rights.

During the course of their detention all three complained of sustained injuries of varying degrees, including one serious nose injury.

The IPCC submitted a file to the CPS in January 2010, including the assault allegations, which have a statutory time limit, but the CPS refused to bring criminal charges against the officers.

Once the investigation was completed, in May 2010, the CPS again refused to bring charges.

The IPCC found there were individual failings by six officers, four of which amounted to gross misconduct and warranted a hearing. Misconduct proceedings are pending for a two further officers involved in the case.

The panel found the standards of behaviour for use of force and discreditable conduct were breached in respect of all four officers.

Two of the breaches were serious enough to dismiss the officers, while another two were less serious and they were handed a final written warning.

Met commander Peter Spindler said: "Regardless of the CPS not bringing criminal proceedings against these four officers, we felt their behaviour was completely unacceptable and amounted to gross misconduct resulting in two dismissals and two final written warnings being issued."