Appeal for witnesses to Croydon stop and search on boy

Published: 04 Aug 2022

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is appealing for witnesses as part of an investigation into the stop and search of a 14-year-old boy in Croydon, south London.

The incident happened at around 5.30pm on 23 June at the junction of Blackhorse Lane and Woodside Green. 

While we have gathered mobile phone footage of part of the incident, which has been circulated widely on social media and featured in TV news reports, we would like to make contact with any members of the public who were present during the search or who witnessed it. 

Anyone who witnessed all or part of the incident is asked to contact our investigators by emailing [email protected] or phoning 0300 303 5736. 

We are investigating a complaint by the child’s mother, who alleges excessive force was used by officers and that he was treated differently because of his age and that he is Black. 

We began an independent investigation into this incident in July and have obtained police body worn video in addition to the mobile phone footage, and also conducted a trawl of CCTV in the area. 

We have also obtained police incident logs and relevant force policies and procedures.

IOPC Regional Director Graham Beesley said: "I’m aware of the concern the footage of this incident has caused.

“We know the use of stop and search can have a negative impact on Black and minority ethnic groups and erode public confidence in policing, so it is vital we thoroughly investigate this matter and establish the full circumstances around the officers’ interaction with this child.

“We would really like to speak to anyone who witnessed the incident so they can help us to paint as full a picture as possible of what happened.”

  • Discrimination
  • Use of force and armed policing