Police watchdog appeals for witnesses after woman was restrained in Lewisham

The police watchdog would like to hear from anyone who witnessed a woman being restrained during a stop and search by police.

The woman, who was a passenger in a black Fiesta, was restrained and arrested by a number of police officers on Lewisham High Street, at around 11:05pm on Saturday 9 May.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC)  asked the Met to refer the matter to its staff after video footage of the incident was widely shared on social media, and the woman lodged a formal complaint.

The independent investigation was launched on 30 May. So far, it has recovered CCTV footage, body worn video footage, the footage shared online and are taking statements from several witnesses.

An IOPC statement said: “We will examine the circumstances of the woman’s arrest and the use of force on the woman. The investigation will also look at the woman’s subsequent treatment in custody.”

IOPC Regional Director Sal Naseem said: “This incident took place in public view late at night and was probably witnessed by passers-by and members of the public. The video was widely shared on social media platforms and used by local media outlets.

“We would ask anybody who was in the area that evening and saw police activity to get in touch with us. We are aware of a number of people nearby who may have photographed or filmed the incident on their mobile phones, and would ask that they come forward to assist with this investigation.

“To uphold public confidence in the police complaints system, we will be investigating the use of stop and search tactics in this incident and whether the actions of those officers were appropriate and proportionate and followed approved police policies.

“We will also investigate if racial profiling or discrimination played a part in the incident.”

Witnesses are asked to call the IOPC incident line on 0800 029 4691 or LewishamHighStreet@policeconduct.gov.uk

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