‘We will continue to reform our culture’: Met officer found guilty of assaulting woman during Croydon fare evasion incident

A Met cop has been found guilty of assaulting a woman during a fare evasion operation in Croydon in July 2023. 

PC Perry Lathwood, of the Roads and Transport Policing Command, was charged with assault by beating at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today following a one-day trial at City of London Magistrates’ Court on May 10.

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

Jocelyn Agyemang was dropping her son off at her mother’s house before heading to an appointment in Marylebone, scheduled for 12.30pm.

After she and her son got off the bus at around 11am, she was asked to show she had paid her fare by a bus inspector, but did not.

When she continued to try to walk away she was arrested and handcuffed by PC  Lathwood – who is attached to the Met’s Road Traffic Policing Command – on suspicion of fare evasion.

Footage which circulated on social media after the incident showed Ms Agyemang’s son in tears as his mother was arrested.

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

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. 

“Anyone who has seen the footage of this incident will be upset by how it escalated into a traumatic situation for a mother and her child. 

“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.

“When an officer is convicted of a criminal offence, their conviction will often be considered at an accelerated misconduct hearing as soon as possible after proceedings have finished. 

“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.”

Sentencing is due to take place on June 14.

Pictured top: New Scotland Yard (Picture: The Met)

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