A Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officer has been dismissed without notice for gross misconduct following an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation into the force he used against a child who had been arrested.
Following a hearing which concluded today (Thursday 14 July), an independently chaired disciplinary panel found Police Constable Steven Martin used unnecessary and unreasonable force when he punched the boy while he was on the floor and in handcuffs. He also used abusive language towards him.
The 15-year-old boy was arrested on 28 February 2021 after officers responded to a report of an attempted robbery in Waltham Forest, London E10, with two other male teenagers. They were subsequently charged but the case discontinued.
The panel found PC Martin breached the professional standards for use of force; authority, respect and courtesy; and discreditable conduct. He also breached the standards for honesty and integrity for initially failing to mention in his initial account of the incident that he had struck the boy and then, when it was viewed on his body-worn video, explaining the strike as an accident.
IOPC Regional Director Sal Naseem said “Police officers may only use force when it is necessary, proportionate and reasonable in the circumstances. Following our independent investigation, we found a case to answer on the basis that the force used appeared to exceed what was required in the circumstances as the boy had given himself up and was not resisting.
“PC Martin has now paid a high price for his actions by losing his job and will be placed on a barred list preventing him from future employment within the police service.”
We sent a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service which decided to charge PC Martin with common assault (battery). He pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 11 January 2022 and was sentenced to a curfew order for 14 weeks and ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge.
We began our investigation in April 2021, after the force referred a complaint from the boy’s mother. It concluded in August 2021 and, during the investigation, our investigators interviewed the suspect officer under criminal caution, reviewed officers’ body-worn video, and obtained statements from police witnesses and the victim.