The Metropolitan Police shared the full personal details of a woman who complained about a male officer’s aggression while arresting a vulnerable woman with that officer – including her home address.
The 36-year-old, from Lewisham, south London, witnessed the caution and arrest of a woman and her partner after a suspected domestic violence incident in June.
After seeing a male police officer repeatedly shouting at the woman he was handling, he lodged a complaint through the Granthshala Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), and pushed her on the chest, causing her to hit the road. But fell.
The woman, who did not wish to be identified, said, “The behavior of the police officer gave me a completely wrong impression.” Granthshala. “Even if he felt in danger, it was unacceptable to swear and use force against a vulnerable woman who had already been attacked by her partner.”
She told the IOPC that if the woman complained about her treatment at the hands of the officer, she would be happy to endorse her version of events.
The IOPC forwarded her complaint to the Metropolitan Police to handle. The woman later received a letter in June confirming that her concerns would be addressed, and confirmed that the force had also “sent a copy of our records to the police officer who is the subject of your complaint”. That record contained the complete contact details of the complainant.
“I felt vulnerable and exposed knowing that he knew I had complained and where I lived, and if I had known that this would happen I probably wouldn’t have complained in the first place,” she said.
The complaint was eventually referred to the Lewisham local police branch for investigation. The woman called to express her concern about the sharing of her personal data, but the professional standards officer in that office told her that standard procedures were followed.
She eventually spoke to the officer’s line manager, but said she had little understanding of her fear, and was reassured that the officer in question was “a very reasonable person”.
“About 10 days after Wayne Coozens admitted to kidnapping Sarah Everard six miles away, it seemed particularly odd that none of the officers I spoke to understood that as a woman. Why am I particularly concerned about potentially violent police officers having my address,” she said.
The Met Police acknowledged that personal details were shared with the male officer whose conduct they had criticized, but said the case was considered “an isolated incident”. It states that personal information must be stripped of any document before it reaches the subject of the complaint.
Nevertheless, it has now changed its complaint form to prevent the same error from happening again, and has issued a reminder to the forces on how to handle such personal information.
Jamie Klingler, spokesperson for the Reclaim This Streets campaign, said the incident was “another example of the Met’s inward-looking approach to policing the capital. They continue to defend themselves to the detriment of women and girls across London.” “
A Meteorological Department spokesperson said: “The complaint was referred to the Business Standards Unit of Southeast BCU for investigation. During this process, the contact details of the complainant were given to the officer who was the subject of the complaint.
“This was done in error – the form used has been adapted to remove details, and employees have been reminded of the importance of checking documents before dispatch.”
An investigation into the original complaint concluded last month that the service provided by the officers involved in the arrest was admissible.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /