Coventry & Warwickshire

West Mercia Police: PC's head kick was gross misconduct

Scales of justice
Image caption PC Laura Lawson "breached the standards of professional behaviour"

A police officer committed gross misconduct by kicking a teenage boy twice in the head, a standards panel has found.

PC Laura Lawson of West Mercia Police attacked the 17-year-old as she arrested him after a disturbance in 2017.

Lawson, 31, was handed a three-month suspended prison sentence in November after admitting assault.

West Mercia Police said she would have been dismissed had she not resigned.

Police officers were called to a disturbance involving young people in Avocet Close, Rugby, on 16 April 2017.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct previously said: "While detaining the 17-year-old boy, PC Lawson was seen to kick him twice to his head while he was on the ground."

At the standards hearing, the panel, chaired by Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, determined Lawson's actions amounted to "gross misconduct and breached the standards of professional behaviour in relation to use of force".

Head of professional standards Supt Helena Bennett said: "A serving police officer receiving a criminal conviction for assault brings discredit on the force and is completely unacceptable when we are responsible for protecting the public from harm.

"Lawson's actions amounted to a breach of the standards of professional behaviour we expect from officers, and were entirely inappropriate."

Lawson will be placed on the College of Policing barred list.

The outcome of the hearing is subject to appeal.

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