Witnesses sought following stop and search in Lewisham, London

Published: 19 Jun 2020

We would like to hear from anyone who witnessed a woman being restrained during a stop and search by police in Lewisham, south-east London.

The woman, who was the passenger of a black Fiesta, was restrained and arrested by a number of police officers on Lewisham High Street, SE13 at around 11:05pm on 9 May.

We requested a voluntary referral be made by the Metropolitan police after video footage of the incident was widely shared on social media, and the woman lodged a formal complaint. An independent investigation was launched on 30 May. So far, we have recovered CCTV footage, body worn video footage, the footage shared online and are taking statements from several witnesses.

We will examine the circumstances of the woman’s arrest and the use of force. The investigation will also look at the woman’s subsequent treatment in custody.

IOPC Regional Director Sal Naseem said: “This incident took place in public view late at night and was likely witnessed by passers-by and members of the public. The video was widely shared on social media platforms and used by local media outlets.

“We would ask anybody who was in the area that evening and saw police activity to get in touch with us. We are aware of a number of people nearby who may have photographed or filmed the incident on their mobile phones and would ask that they come forward to assist with this investigation.

“To uphold public confidence in the police complaints system, we will be investigating the use of stop and search tactics in this incident and whether the actions of those officers were appropriate and proportionate and followed approved police policies.

“We will also investigate if racial profiling or discrimination played a part in the incident.”

Did you see anything? If so, please call 0800 029 4691 or [email protected]

  • Use of force and armed policing