Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
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Police officer who punched man in the head committed gross misconduct

A Metropolitan Police officer who repeatedly punched a man during an arrest has been found to have committed gross misconduct.

A police misconduct panel on Friday 14 September 2018 found that PC Steven Harrison used excessive force during the arrest in February 2017 as the result of evidence gathered by an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation.

He was given a final written warning.

Responding to reports of a fight outside a takeaway in the St Helier area of Sutton, PC Harrison and fellow officers arrived and a man was seen to step from a bookmakers and begin to urinate in a doorway.

The panel heard that officers moved to arrest the man, who was visibly intoxicated and being abusive, and placed him in handcuffs.

The man, who was being held by a number of officers, spat at PC Harrison who responded by punching him in the face.

PC Harrison punched the man a further three times before fellow officers pulled the man to the ground.

While the man was lying down on the ground PC Harrison punched him a further four times.

The Metropolitan Police referred the incident to us after concerns were raised by an officer viewing CCTV footage of the incident and we completed our investigation in July 2017.

A file was also passed to the Crown Prosecution Service who concluded there was not a realistic prospect of conviction.

IOPC Regional Director Jonathan Green said: “Police Officers are entrusted with the power to use reasonable force in order to carry out their duties, but officers should only use force that is necessary, reasonable and proportionate.

“PC Harrison reacted to being spat at by punching the man being arrested. Following this punch he then went on to deliver further punches, including four punches when the man, who was in handcuffs, was lying on the ground.”

“Our investigation concluded this level of force could be considered disproportionate in the circumstances and the Metropolitan Police agreed.”

“A panel has now ruled that PC Harrison was in breach of professional standards and he has been given a final written warning.”


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