A British Transport Police officer has been dismissed after using an incapacitating spray on a handcuffed man after arresting him at Sydenham Hill train station.

An independent panel at a hearing on Tuesday, July 11 found Sarah Clements, a police constable based at Waterloo, was in breach of the standards of professional behaviour, namely honesty and integrity and use of force following an incident on August 19, 2016 at Sydenham Hill rail station.

PC Clements arrested a man, handcuffed him, placed him in a police van and took him to custody and on arrival at custody, when the man was still in the police van, PC Clements sprayed him with Captor spray.

The panel found that PC Clements’ use of her Captor spray in these circumstances was in breach of the professional standard concerning use of force because the man was seated, handcuffed and posed no immediate threat to her or her colleagues.

The panel did not accept her evidence that she deployed the spray in self-defence.

The allegation that PC Clements also falsified her written statement about the events that took place was also proven. The panel concluded that there were inconsistencies between PC Clements’ written statement, oral evidence and what the panel observed on CCTV, therefore breaching the standards of professional behaviour concerning honesty and integrity.

These breaches of the force’s professional standards amounted to gross misconduct and PC Clements was dismissed without notice.

Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Hanstock said: “I acknowledge and support the decision of the independent misconduct panel to dismiss PC Clements with immediate effect.

“In this instance it was bad enough that the Captor spray was used when there was no realistic threat to her and her colleagues, but by then lying in her official account about what had taken place she comprehensibly breached our non-negotiable code of conduct.

“It is regrettable when police officers behave in a manner that shocks the public and understandably undermines their confidence in us. It is particularly disappointing that PC Clements’ actions overshadows the outstanding work that police officers do every hour of every day.”