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Bianca Williams: Five Met officers involved in athlete stop-and-search to face misconduct probe this month

Athlete Bianca Williams, who was stopped, searched and handcuffed by police in July 2020 (PA Archive)
Athlete Bianca Williams, who was stopped, searched and handcuffed by police in July 2020 (PA Archive)

Five Met Police officers involved in the stop-and-search of Team GB sprinter Bianca Williams will face gross misconduct hearings this month.

The probe was ordered by the police watchdog after concern over the stop of the athlete, then 27, and her partner Ricardo dos Santos in Maida Vale in July 2020.

The couple accused the force of “racially profiling” when they were handcuffed and separated from their three-month-old son during the stop.

Mr dos Santos was searched for weapons and for drugs and Ms Williams for weapons.

On Monday, Scotland Yard confirmed that five officers - acting Police Sergeant Rachel Simpson and PCs Allan Casey, Jonathan Clapham, Michael Bond, and Sam Franks - would face misconduct hearings from September 18 over the stop.

The New Scotland Yard sign outside the Metropolitan Police headquarters (PA Wire)
The New Scotland Yard sign outside the Metropolitan Police headquarters (PA Wire)

All five face allegations that they breached police standards over equality and diversity, while Acting PS Simpson, PCs Clapham, Bond and Franks are accused of breaching standards over use of force and respect.

PCs Casey, Clapham, Bond and Franks also face allegations over the accuracy of their account of the stop.

If proven, the officers face the sack.

In a previous statement, the couple welcomed the misconduct hearing.

Ms Williams said: “I welcome this decision and hope this opens the door for the Met to start being more honest and reflective about the culture of racism which is undoubtedly still a reality within the organisation.”

Mr dos Santos added: “This has been a long journey, and one which has not been easy.

“This sheds a light on how difficult it is to ensure the police are held responsible for their failings.”

The Met’s internal Directorate of Professional Standards carried out two reviews, which found no misconduct by any officers, before misconduct hearings were ordered by the police watchdog.

Senior officers in the force have previously apologised for “the distress that this incident clearly caused Ms Williams and Mr dos Santos.”