Dismissal over use of force cover-up attempt

A police constable has been sacked after trying to cover up her use of Captor spray on a man who posed “no realistic threat”.

Jul 17, 2017

A police constable has been sacked after trying to cover up her use of Captor spray on a man who posed “no realistic threat”. PC Sarah Clements arrested a man at Sydenham Hill rail station last August, handcuffed him and took him to custody in a police van. On arrival, the British Transport Police officer sprayed the man with an incapacitant while he was still seated in the vehicle – later claiming that she acted in self-defence. A misconduct panel found the man was not an immediate threat to PC Clements or her colleagues so the use of Captor spray breached use of force standards. It also found inconsistencies between her written and oral evidence regarding the incident and footage from CCTV cameras. The panel ruled these breaches of BTP’s professional standards amounted to gross misconduct and PC Clements was dismissed without notice. Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Hanstock said: “In this instance it was bad enough that the Captor spray was used when there was no realistic threat to her and her colleagues, but by then lying in her official account about what had taken place she comprehensibly breached our non-negotiable code of conduct. “It is regrettable when police officers behave in a manner that shocks the public and understandably undermines their confidence in us. “It is particularly disappointing that PC Clements’ actions overshadow the outstanding work that police officers do every hour of every day.”

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