A Met Police officer who faced a slew of misconduct allegations has been cleared of an independent panel.
Sergeant Christian Igwegbe was accused of a string of allegations after a woman arrested on suspicion of shoplifting was brought into Belgravia police station last year.
He answered allegations that his conduct amounted to a breach of the Met’s standards of professional behaviour in respect of authority, respect and courtesy, orders and instructions, duties and responsibilities and discreditable conduct.
The incident occurred on March 26 2016. Sgt Igwegbe was accused of failing to determine whether it was necessary to strip search the woman under section 54 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act and did not record his reasoning.
However, the hearing was told he did explain to the woman “with care and sensitivity” that she would be strip-searched amid concerns she was concealing items she could self harm with.
He said failure to record his decision-making was an honest mistake made in a busy custodial suite.
The hearing also considered whether Sgt Igwegbe failed to arrange an appropriate adult to be with the woman, who was mentally vulnerable, but heard evidence that she had been assessed by medical professionals while in custody and no request was made.
Sgt Igwegbe was also accused of failing to take appropriate action after the woman made an allegation in his presence that she had been sexually assaulted during the strip search.
The hearing was told the woman had shouted “sexual assault sexual assault sexual assault” while being escorted to a cell but this incident was not considered to be an official complaint.
The woman did not make an official allegation until a day later despite having several opportunities to do so.
On Friday October 13, the panel, led by an independent chair, found misconduct not proven on all counts.
A further allegation in relation to honesty and integrity was dismissed during the hearing.
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