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Police officer sacked from Met after lying and hitting member of the public in Southall

The Metropolitan Police have sacked an officer following a misconduct hearing by the Independent Office for Police Conduct which revealed how PC Martin Binala lied about an incident where a member of the public in Southall was arrested and had force used on him. Another officer who was with Binala was given a written warning.

Binala who was based at West Area Basic Command Unit which covers Ealing, Hounslow and Hillingdon, was found to have breached the Met’s Standards of Professional Behaviour in the following areas:

  • Honesty and Integrity
  • Authority, Respect and Courtesy
  • Use of force
  • Duties and Responsibilities.

PC Stuart Dunne, also was also working for the West Area Basic Command Unit was found to have committed misconduct and received a written warning.

The hearing on Thursday (4 January 2024), was presented with evidence that on 12 September 2021, both officers were on plain-clothed patrol in Southall when they saw a parked car with a man inside. Binala claimed that he could smell cannabis coming from the car.

Binala approached the car and a struggle broke out with the driver who was forcibly removed from the car.  He was joined by PC Dunne and they used excessive force, including Pava spray and handcuffs to detain the man.

IOPC regional director Charmaine Arbouin said: “It is not good practice for officers to carry out a stop and search on the sole ground of a smell of cannabis, yet this man was stopped for sitting in his parked car, close to his home.

“Body-worn video footage showed that, in just seven seconds, PC Binala got out of the unmarked police vehicle and began to forcibly remove the man from his car. There was no attempt to engage with him, identify themselves as officers, show warrant cards or go through the usual police procedures when stopping members of the public.

“It is not surprising that the man didn’t believe they were police officers and reacted in the way he did. He told our investigators he thought he was being robbed and feared for his safety. After taking the man to the ground, PC Dunne used PAVA spray twice without warning and PC Binala struck the man. Their use of force was unnecessary, unreasonable, and disproportionate.”

Chief Superintendent Sean Wilson from West Area Basic Command Unit said: “The public rightly expects the highest standards of the Met’s officers but the actions of PCs Binala and Dunne have fallen short of this mark.

“The Commissioner has been clear that officers who do not meet these standards have no place in the Met. We will continue to ensure those whose actions erode the trust of the public, a trust that the vast majority of officers strive to maintain, can no longer serve with the Met.”

Binala will be added to the Barred List held by the College of Policing. Those appearing on the list cannot be employed by police, local policing bodies (PCCs), the Independent Office for Police Conduct or His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services.

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