Met police officer charged with assault after woman wrongly arrested for dodging bus fare in Croydon

12 January 2024, 14:07

A police officer has been charged over the incident
A police officer has been charged over the incident. Picture: Alamy/Google Maps

By Kit Heren

A Metropolitan police officer has been charged with assault after a woman was wrongly arrested in Croydon on suspicion of not paying her bus fare.

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PC Perry Lathwood, aged 49, attached to the Road Traffic Policing Command will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on February 14 to face one charge of assault by beating.

The incident, which took place on July 21 last year during a proactive police operation to catch fare-dodgers, saw the woman detained in front of her sobbing young son.

The woman's arm was bruised in the incident, police watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said. It later turned out she had paid the fare and she was de-arrested.

Officers said she had refused to show her ticket to inspectors and tried to walk away when asked.

Read more: 'She didn’t provide her ticket': Police defend handcuffing mother in front of her crying son over bus fare

Read more: Met Police officer investigated for 'racially aggravated assault' after woman wrongly arrested over bus fare 'evasion'

The IOPC launched an investigation into the incident in the days after it took place.

The watchdog finished their probe in December and referred the case to the Crown Prosecution Service for charging.

Croydon police chief Andy Brittain warned that the charge would "cause a great deal of concern" among officers.

He added: "Officers know they must be able to justify their use of force.  The Met has written to the IOPC seeking urgent clarity on the reasons for the charging decision.

"Criminal proceedings are now active and as a result I am unable to comment further on the case."

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