Officer found guilty of assaulting woman during fare evasion operation

A Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officer has been found guilty of assaulting a woman during a fare evasion operation in Croydon in July last year.

May 17, 2024
By Paul Jacques

Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist said the conviction of PC Perry Lathwood, of the Roads and Transport Policing Command, was “a huge setback to its ability to rebuild trust with Londoners”.

He said this type of operation “places officers in potentially challenging interactions with the public”.

Since this incident, the MPS said it has stopped involvement in supporting Transport for London fare evasion operations.

PC Lathwood appeared for a one-day trial at City of London Magistrates’ Court and the verdict was delivered at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday (May 17). Sentencing is due to take place on June 14.

Mr 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.”

He added: “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 nature of this kind of fare evasion operation unnecessarily places officers in potentially challenging interactions with the public. Since this incident happened, we have stopped our involvement in supporting Transport for London fare evasion operations, but we continue our presence on the bus network tackling violent crime.

“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.”

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