Footage of wrongful arrest over fare evasion incident released – South London News

Footage of wrongful arrest over fare evasion incident released – South London News

Footage showing the wrongful arrest of a woman over a fare evasion incident has been released by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

PC Perry Lathwood, attached to the Road Traffic Policing Command, was found guilty of assault by beating on Friday. 

The verdict followed a one-day trial at City of London Magistrates’ Court last week. He will be sentenced on 14 June.

The charge comes in relation to an incident on July 21, 2023, when Jocelyn Agyemang was left with bruising on her wrist, arm and shoulder after she was wrongly arrested by PC Lathwood for suspected fare evasion.

Ms Agyemang was later let go and her handcuffs were removed after officers confirmed her fare was valid.

The IOPC began its investigation after a complaint referral from the Met Police, which was made on Ms Agyemang’s behalf in the days after the incident took place on Whitehorse Road.

The arrest was captured on PC Lathwood’s bodycam footage. The footage shows Ms Agyemang repeatedly asking the officer to get off her, telling him he is hurting her and she has not done anything wrong. 

As the altercation escalates, Ms Agyemang and her young son become increasingly more distressed. The young boy can be heard crying in the footage as he watches police handcuff his mother.

PC Lathwood’s bodycam footage (Picture: IOPC)

IOPC regional director Mel Palmer said: “A judge has found that the use of force by PC Lathwood against the woman after her arrest, including the use of handcuffs and holding onto her arm, was unlawful and he has been convicted of assault.

“Any use of force by officers should be reasonable, proportionate and justifiable in the circumstances.

“This was a high-profile incident that caused significant concern, particularly in the Croydon community, after footage of the incident was published online.

“We carried out an independent and impartial investigation to establish the facts surrounding this incident, including the actions of the police officers involved.”

Since the incident the Met said it has stopped supporting Transport for London fare evasion operations, but will continue its presence on the bus network, tackling violent crime. 

Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist said: “This verdict is a huge setback to our ability to rebuild trust with Londoners. We will learn the lessons from this and we apologise to the woman and the wider community who were deeply affected. 

“Despite today’s conviction, we will continue to support the officer and continue to support our workforce, to ensure officers have the confidence to act decisively and make arrests when they believe they have the powers to do so.

“In this case we will wait to hear if PC Lathwood will appeal the conviction, and work to fully understand the decision of the court and its implications for policing. We do not intend to consider an accelerated misconduct hearing in this case. 

“The Met will continue to work with communities, to transform our culture and improve how we engage with all Londoners – by embedding our values of empathy, integrity, respect, courage and being accountable across the whole organisation.”

Pictured top: A still taken from PC Lathwood’s bodycam footage  (Picture: IOPC)

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