Eight Met police officers face watchdog probe after black boy, 16, stopped and searched six times in five months

6 February 2024, 14:48 | Updated: 6 February 2024, 15:03

Eight Met police officers are being investigated (file image)
Eight Met police officers are being investigated (file image). Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Eight Metropolitan police officers are being investigated over a complaint that a black boy was stopped and searched repeatedly over the space of several months, with no action taken each time.

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Eight Metropolitan police officers are being investigated over a complaint that a black child was stopped and searched repeatedly over the space of several months, with no action taken each time.

The boy and his mother lodged a complaint through the Haringey Independent Stop and Search Monitoring Group on the boy’s behalf in April and June last year.

He was stopped and searched by police six times between January and May 2023 across Tottenham and Stratford.

The boy’s family say there were insufficient grounds for the stop and searches, force was unreasonably used, and officers failed to consider the boy’s welfare and policing procedures were not consistently followed. 

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The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said four of the searches involved officers from the Territorial Support Group, commonly known as the riot squad.

Various grounds were given for the searches, including suspicion of drugs or theft, and the child reportedly ‘matching descriptions of people carrying out robberies and knife crime in the area’.

The boy’s family say they believe he had been racially profiled by police.

The IOPC said it has examined body worn camera footage and identified “evidence which indicates potential breaches of police standards”.

Seven MPS officers are under investigation for possible gross misconduct and an eighth officer is being investigated for misconduct, the IOPC said.

IOPC director Charmaine Arbouin said: “The concerning allegations raised in the complaint - which include racial profiling of a child and insufficient grounds for stopping and searching them six times in five months - are issues that we know disproportionately affect Black and other minority ethnic communities and erode public confidence in policing. It’s therefore essential that we carry out an investigation – independent of the police - to look at each of these incidents and the actions and decision-making of the officers involved.

“At this stage, we have identified potential conduct issues for eight officers relating to five of these incidents. At the end of our investigation, we will make decisions on whether any of these officers should face disciplinary proceedings. 

“We will continue to keep those involved updated as our investigation progresses.”

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