Met officers to face gross misconduct hearing over stop and search of Black boy in Croydon

Published: 05 Sep 2023

Two Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers will face a gross misconduct hearing following an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation into a complaint about the stop-and-search of a child in Croydon, south London, last year.

The 14-year-old schoolboy, who is Black, was detained by officers in Blackhorse Road on 23 June 2022.

They were responding to a report that a 13-year-old boy being robbed at knifepoint by four secondary school children at the nearby tram stop. Their grounds for detaining the boy were that they believed he was one of the suspects.

We started an investigation on 29 June 2022 after a complaint from the boy’s mother was referred to us by the MPS.

The complaint alleged officers used excessive force in restraining and handcuffing him, taking him to floor, kneeling on his back and that his treatment was motivated by discrimination on the grounds of his race and age. We also investigated the grounds for the stop and search.

We concluded our investigation in July 2023 and subsequently determined that a police constable and an acting police sergeant should face a gross misconduct hearing for alleged breaches of the police standards of professional behaviour relating to:

• their use of force in handcuffing the child 
• orders and instructions, and honesty and integrity, relating to the officers’ actions and comments made during the stop and search 
• equality and diversity, for allegedly discriminating against the child because of his race and age.

IOPC regional director Mel Palmer said: “Mobile phone footage of part of this incident was shared to social media and widely viewed on mainstream news outlets, which led to public concern.

“It was important that we investigated the full circumstances surrounding this incident to determine what occurred.

“We have now decided that two officers have cases to answer for gross misconduct and should face a hearing where a police disciplinary panel will decide whether the gross misconduct allegations are proven.”

All parties have been informed of our decision and it will now be for the MPS to organise proceedings for the officers.

  • Metropolitan Police Service
  • Discrimination
  • Use of force and armed policing