Woman wrongfully arrested for 'not paying bus fare' in front of crying son
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***Warning: Contains content some viewers may find distressing***
Police have issued a statement after a 'concerning' video emerged showing a woman being arrested in front of her son over a 'bus fare'.
The distressing incident unfolded in Croydon on 21 July, when officers from the Met Police's Roads and Transport Police Command were in the area supporting Transport for London (TfL) ticket inspectors.
In the video, a woman can be seen being restrained by police, while other members of the public watch on in apparent confusion.
A police officer can be seen bending down to speak to a child, believed to be the woman's son, while the woman attempts to get free from the police and shouts: "What is going on?!"
The officers' actions were condemned as the video was shared on Twitter, where the poster claimed the incident had taken place 'over a bus fare'.
"And you wonder why people are scared and hate the police ….. are you having a laugh," they wrote.
After the video went viral, the Met Police issued a statement to say police were in the area as part of the 'pre-planned operation' which saw TfL inspectors checking tickets of those getting on and off the busses.
If passengers didn't have a valid ticket they had to provide their details to the inspectors, with the Met explaining that 'officers only become involved where details are not provided or where someone tries to leave when challenged'.
In its statement, the Met claimed that the woman in the video failed to provide her ticket when asked, and 'continued to try to walk away' when approached by a TfL inspector, a PCSP and a police officer.
"She was arrested on suspicion of fare evasion and was handcuffed. When officers were able to take her ticket from her so that the TfL inspectors could check it, they were able to confirm it was valid," the statement continued.
The Met said the woman was 'immediately de-arrested' and released when the validity of the ticket was confirmed.
Meanwhile, the woman's child was 'comforted by a PCSO', though the Met added that it 'regret[s] any impact it may have on him'.
After the incident, the Met said it will work with TfL to 'ensure that the balance is right between officers tackling the most serious crime on the transport network and supporting their own operations'.
An initial review of the officers' actions 'did not identify any conduct matters', the Met said, but it will 'reflect on it carefully... to urgently identify any opportunities to do things differently'.
The matter has now been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct for review.