Met Police refers itself to police watchdog after distressed woman wrongly held over fare evasion

The Metropolitan Police has referred itself to the police watchdog after a mother was filmed being restrained and handcuffed after inspectors suspected her of fare evasion.

The footage, which went viral on Twitter, shows the bus passenger being held by two officers during the incident in Croydon, south London.

Her child can be heard crying in the background while being consoled by a female officer.

As the woman’s arms are being held she is heard shouting “what the hell, what are you doing, what the f*** is going on” as bystanders surrounding the scene also demanded answers from the officers.

The Met responded to the backlash in a statement from Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist published on Twitter on Monday, saying the woman did have a valid ticket and acknowledging the incident had been distressing for her and her child.

He said an initial review of the officers’ actions “did not identify any conduct matters”, however the force said it would “reflect” on the incident and engage in discussions with the local community in case things can be done differently in the future.

“Given the level of community concern generated we believe it is in the public interest to voluntarily refer the matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct to review,” he added.

Police were at the scene to support Transport for London (TfL) ticket inspectors as part of a “pre-planned operation”. Mr Twist said.

Twitter This content is provided by Twitter, which may be using cookies and other technologies. To show you this content, we need your permission to use cookies. You can use the buttons below to amend your preferences to enable Twitter cookies or to allow those cookies just once. You can change your settings at any time via the Privacy Options. Unfortunately we have been unable to verify if you have consented to Twitter cookies. To view this content you can use the button below to allow Twitter cookies for this session only.

Twitter This content is provided by Twitter, which may be using cookies and other technologies. To show you this content, we need your permission to use cookies. You can use the buttons below to amend your preferences to enable Twitter cookies or to allow those cookies just once. You can change your settings at any time via the Privacy Options. Unfortunately we have been unable to verify if you have consented to Twitter cookies. To view this content you can use the button below to allow Twitter cookies for this session only.

Read more:

Photographer who raped woman at his London studio may have targeted others

Pedestrians to have extra second at green man to cross road

He said the woman “did not” provide her ticket as she got off the bus and when spoken to by a TfL inspector, a police community support officer (PCSO) and lastly by a police officer “she continued to walk away and did not provide her ticket for inspection”.

The statement said: “When officers were able to take her ticket from her so that the TfL inspectors could check it, they were able to confirm it was valid.

“She was immediately de-arrested and her handcuffs were removed.”

The statement added: “Throughout the incident, the child was comforted by a PCSO who immediately recognised his distress. Anyone seeing how upset he was would be moved by this, and we regret any impact it may have on him.

“We recognise that the use of handcuffs can be a cause of concern, particularly given the context of this incident and the type of offence involved, but when a person is trying to physically leave an incident it is an option officers can consider. All uses of force must be proportionate and necessary in the circumstances.”

It clarified that those without a valid ticket should provide their details to a TfL inspector so a penalty fare can be issued, with police only getting involved when these are not provided or when they try to leave when challenged.

You might also like...

P