Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
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IOPC commends Metropolitan Police Service officer for response to knife-wielding man

A Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officer acted above and beyond his duties and responsibilities after he confronted a knife-wielding man who was threatening to stab himself and others, an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation concluded.

At around 3.30am on 25 June 2019, the MPS was called a number of times by a south London resident who reported that people were attempting to break into his flat, one ‘waving a gun.’

The MPS control room identified the calls as a probable mental health incident and officers were asked to conduct a welfare check on the caller.

On arrival, the officers found the caller clearly under the influence of drugs and brandishing a knife. He refused to allow the officers to enter his flat. Another person could be heard inside the flat pleading with the man to let in the officers.

The PC forced entry to the flat and, after being threatened with the knife, used Taser to subdue the knife-wielding man, who had stabbed himself in the chest.

He has since recovered from these injuries and, on Tuesday March 10, 2020 at Inner London Crown Court, Jason Starkings, from Vauxhall, was given a 22-month jail sentence – suspended for two years – for affray.

A mandatory referral was made by the MPS and an independent investigation launched. IOPC investigators attended the scene of the incident and the post-incident process, where they met the officers involved and obtained their statements.

The officers were treated as witnesses throughout our investigation. We also examined Body Worn Video (BWV) footage of the incident alongside incident logs, call recordings and data from the Taser.

We concluded our investigation in August 2019, finding the use of Taser was justified to prevent the man hurting himself or others and that no officers had acted in a manner that would require any further action.

We also noted that the PC, who displayed considerable courage in remaining composed under a threat to his own life before using his Taser to subdue the man, should be commended for his actions.

The MPS agreed with this conclusion and the officer, who has asked not to be named, received a Borough Commander’s Commendation.

IOPC Regional Director for London, Sal Naseem, yesterday said:

“The actions of the PC and the other officers who attended this incident, showed tremendous bravery. Despite the terrifying scene of confronting a drug-influenced man brandishing a knife, they went above and beyond to ensure the safety of this individual, themselves and others.

“As part of our investigation conclusion we recommended the force acknowledge the good work of the officers as we believe it important that such dedication and courageousness is rewarded. However, we felt it was also equally important to highlight this act of bravery publicly.”


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