Bianca Williams search: Met Police officers to face gross-misconduct hearingson April 27, 2022 at 9:40 am

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Five officers face gross-misconduct proceedings after the search of British sprinter Bianca Williams.

Bianca Williams

Image source, Jonathan Brady

Five Metropolitan police officers will face gross-misconduct proceedings over the stop-and-search of Team GB athlete Bianca Williams, following an investigation by the police watchdog.

The British sprinter, 28, and her partner, were stopped in their car, in west London, in July 2020.

The couple were handcuffed, searched for weapons and drugs and separated from their three-month-old son.

An independent panel will now determine whether to uphold the allegations.

‘Racially profiled’

The Metropolitan Police referred itself to the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) after footage of the stop-and-search was posted online by former Olympic champion sprinter Linford Christie, who trains Ms Williams and her partner, Portuguese sprinter Ricardo dos Santos.

The couple believe they were racially profiled and stopped because they are black.

The force apologised to Ms Williams, a Commonwealth Games gold medallist, three days later.

Publishing the findings of the IOPC investigation, on Wednesday, regional director Sal Naseem said all five officers – an acting sergeant and four constables – would face allegations they had breached police standards of professional behaviour for duties and responsibilities and for equality and diversity.

Four officers also face allegations they breached the standards for use of force and for authority, respect and courtesy.

Three of the constables will face allegations they breached the standards for honesty and integrity and one will face an allegation they breached the police standards of professional behaviour for orders and instructions.

A sixth officer will attend a misconduct meeting related to the stop-and-search.

‘Co-operated fully’

If a police officer is found guilty of gross misconduct, disciplinary action can include being sacked, demoted or receiving a written warning.

Met Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Bas Javid said: “I acknowledge the Independent Office for Police Conduct’s (IOPC) direction in this case.

“We have co-operated fully with the IOPC’s investigation and, in accordance with their direction, are now arranging for an independently led misconduct hearing to take place.

“I am sorry for the distress that this incident clearly caused Ms Williams and Mr Dos Santos.”

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