Gidea Park arrest: Detective who hit teenager with baton will undertake ‘reflective review process’
PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 March 2020
A detective will be subject to learning following an investigation into a controversial stop and search in Gidea Park.
Following a trial at Hendon Magistrates’ Court on January 23, Det Con Kevin Rowley was found not guilty of assault by beating.
The court heard how Mr Rowley struck a teenager, who was 17 at the time, some five times with his baton after he and a colleague tried to perform a stop-and-search on two youths in Heath Park Road on April 22 last year.
Footage of the incident went viral on social media, which appeared to show the teenager shouting “You can’t do this” and “I’m a child”.
The 37-year-old detective said he and his colleague, who were both in plain clothes, told the youths they were going to search them for drugs, after apparently smelling cannabis.
He told the court he had put the teenager in a headlock, took him to the floor and took hold of his wrists, as the other police officer chased the other youth, who had fled.
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After the arrest and review of mobile phone footage, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) referred the matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) in April 2019.
Under new police regulations, Det Con Rowley will undertake the reflective practice review process, working with his supervisor to reflect on what happened, identify any actions required to put the issues right and learn from the incident to prevent reoccurrence.
The IOPC investigation found that Det Con Rowley also had a case to answer for gross misconduct concerning his use of force and the MPS agreed with its findings.
Following his trial, the MPS reviewed the matter and based on the evidence provided to the court found that the officer no longer had a case to answer for his use of force and the IOPC agreed.
IOPC regional director Sal Naseem said: “Where officers come and give full and frank accounts, this can help speed up the process for everyone.
“If DC Rowley had told us what he told the court, this matter could have been concluded much earlier, which is regrettable.
“We’d encourage the MPS to also consider any learning from this.”