John Goss secures dismissal without notice of MPS officer who used excessive force against vulnerable teenager

5 May 2021

John was instructed by the Metropolitan Police Service to present the disciplinary proceedings against PC Benjamin Kemp, who was found to have used unnecessary, unreasonable and disproportionate force when dealing with “XAB”, a 16-year-old girl. At the time, she was on escorted leave from Mental Health Act detention and had become separated from her group.

XAB and a member of the public flagged down PC Kemp’s police car. XAB, who was very distressed but told the officers that she was a child, detained under the Mental Health Act, and that she was vulnerable, was initially persuaded to sit in the back by PC Kemp’s colleague, but then got out. Rather than try to persuade her to get back in, PC Kemp immediately resorted to trying to use handcuffs to restrain her. As a result, XAB became agitated. PC Kemp persisted in attempting to use handcuffs, and subsequently sprayed her with CS spray from close range. When XAB then ran away, PC Kemp struck her in excess of 30 times with his baton, including while and after other officers, arriving on the scene, were deploying Taser against XAB.

Complaints were made by XAB’s mother and by the NHS Trust responsible for XAB’s care, and an investigation was conducted by the IOPC.

PC Kemp admitted that his initial handling of the situation had not shown XAB sufficient respect and courtesy, but denied that any of his use of force was inappropriate or excessive. After a three-day hearing, held in private due to the wishes of XAB’s family, the Panel accepted John’s submissions that PC Kemp’s use of force was unreasonable and disproportionate in its entirety, and that his use of the handcuffs and the CS spray was also unnecessary. It found that PC Kemp’s breaches of the Standards of Professional Behaviour amounted to gross misconduct, and he was dismissed without notice. He will also be placed on the Police Barred List, preventing future employment in policing.

This is believed to be the first occasion that an MPS officer has been dismissed for excessive use of force following an investigation led by the IOPC.

The case has been reported on extensively, including by the BBC (also here and on Radio 4’s Today programme), Channel  4, The Guardian and the Daily Mail.

John is regularly instructed by police forces to advise on and to present disciplinary proceedings, in the Police Appeal Tribunal, and in related judicial review proceedings.


John Goss

Call 2015

Related areas

Police Law


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