Thames Valley Police officer found guilty of battery of a child

A POLICE officer who hit a child in custody and left them naked in the cell has been found guilty of battery.

The decision comes following an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation.

Police Sergeant (PS) Matthew Myers, 49, was given a community order to do 200 hours of unpaid work for assaulting a 16-year-old boy who was in police custody in Banbury, Oxfordshire, on January 4, 2020.

Luton Magistrates’ Court heard this week (February 22) that PS Myers struck the child on the face and then removed the 16 year old’s clothing, leaving him naked until a detention officer came into the cell to assist him.

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During the investigation, IOPC investigators reviewed and analysed CCTV from the custody suite and interviewed the detention officers present.

An account was also taken from the child by the IOPC and PS Myers prepared a statement under caution, following Covid-19 guidance.

Slough Observer:

Stock image of TVP headquarters in Banbury

IOPC regional director Graham Beesley said: “PS Myers abused his position as a custody sergeant to assault a child and he has now been convicted of that offence.

“His primary duty is to ensure the safety and welfare of all those who are detained and assaulting a looked-after child who was vulnerable, where English was not his first language, is the exact opposite of what the officer should have been doing.

“The sentence shows that officers are not above the law and this kind of behaviour is not acceptable.”

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The matter was voluntarily referred to the IOPC on January 16, 2020, and the investigation was completed in May.

It sent a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in June which authorised charging the officer with battery, contrary to section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.

The IOPC said a decision on whether he should face disciplinary action is being considered.

Slough Observer | News