Officer who attacked man after being spat at given final written warning

A serving officer from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) who retaliated after a handcuffed suspect spat in his face has been given a final written warning.

Nov 20, 2020
By Tony Thompson

On January 30, 2019, Police Constable Niven Poliah of the North Area Basic Command Unit was providing a ‘hospital guard’ for a member of the public, who had been arrested earlier that day.

At the scene the man had been aggressive, trying to head-butt another officer, kicking two others and spitting blood at another. When at Barnet Hospital and handcuffed to a wheelchair the man spat into PC Poliah’s face as he tried to remove his handcuffs.

“PC Poliah retaliated by pushing his handcuff key into the man’s neck, holding it against him and applying pressure, thereby causing a small wound on his neck that was noted during his subsequent medical examination and which was apparent on photographs taken after the incident,” said the MPS.

Despite the arrested man shouting words to the effect of “you’re stabbing me in the neck, you’re stabbing me in the neck”, the officer did not immediately desist.

At a misconduct hearing earlier this week, two charges were proven against PC Poliah involving the use of force and discreditable conduct that contravened Standards of Professional Behaviour.

The panel chaired by Judith Gribble, found both allegations amounted to gross misconduct and issued a final written warning.

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