Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
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Former Metropolitan Police Officer committed gross misconduct during traffic stop in Camden

A former Metropolitan Police officer committed gross misconduct after he was found to have breached police professional standards when he used an unauthorised multi-tool during a traffic stop to saw through a windscreen after he had smashed it with his baton.

During the traffic stop, conducted in Camden, north London in September 2016, PC Joshua Savage used a blade on a multi-tool he was carrying to saw through the shattered pane in order to gain access to the car. Footage of the incident was widely circulated on social media. 

At a police misconduct panel which concluded on Friday 14 June former PC Savage, who resigned prior to the hearing, faced allegations he breached standards relating to use of force by smashing the windscreen without warning and that he also failed to act with self-control when he did so, breaching standards relating to authority, respect and courtesy.

It was also alleged that carrying the multi-tool without permission was a breach of orders and instructions and that the totality of his actions amounted to discreditable conduct. The panel ruled that the case was proven against PC Savage on all counts apart from that relating to authority, respect and courtesy and that this amounted to gross misconduct.

IOPC Director for London, Sal Naseem recently said:

“The police misconduct panel has ruled that PC Savage’s actions amounted to grossmisconduct.

“From the evidence available, including footage taken by the driver, we were of the opinion that the actions of PC Savage should be tested at a disciplinary hearing and it is disappointing that we had to use our powers to direct the Metropolitan Police to hold this hearing. Public confidence in policing requires transparency and accountability.

“We were concerned that, during our investigation, PC Savage told us that Metropolitan Police officers were routinely carrying these types of multi-tools which is against regulation. If true, this would be matter for public concern. We raised the matter with the force during our investigationand we await its assurance that it has taken action to ensure this is not the case.”

The driver, who was not charged with any offence, said he sustained an injury to his eye from the shattered glass.

In July 2018 PC Savage was acquitted at Southwark Crown Court of the offences of possession of a bladed article, common assault and criminal damage.

The incident, on 16 September 2016, was referred to the IOPC by the MPS and we completed our investigation in five months, referring a file to the Crown Prosecution Service in February 2017. We concluded PC Joshua Savage had a case to answer for gross misconduct. The MPS disagreed and in July 2017 we directed that a misconduct hearing should take place. The MPS scheduled the hearing to take place in June 2019.


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