Home London News Police put dementia sufferer, 90, ‘in handcuffs, spit hood, then tasered her’

Police put dementia sufferer, 90, ‘in handcuffs, spit hood, then tasered her’

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police put dementia sufferer in spit hood

A pensioner believed to have dementia was shockingly restrained with handcuffs, put in a protective spit hood and had a Taser pointed at her by officers during a horrifying incident.

Six members of the Metropolitan Police responded to reports of a dispute between an elderly female and her attendant in a block of flats in Peckham, South London on May 9.

The situation changed drastically when it was claimed the elderly woman spat at a police officer and she was then restrained with handcuffs and a spit hood was put on her.

The red-dot of another officer’s Taser was also trained on the ill woman, but that officer did not discharge.

While she was not taken into custody, she was transported to the hospital.

In response to the appalling use of force, one officer was suspended and five others were placed on restricted duties, meaning they will have no public contact.

The mother of three’s relatives have been informed of what happened and the Metropolitan Police Department notified the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). They are now conducting an investigation.

It was at that point when her wrists were bound together with handcuffs from behind, while a spit hood was placed over her face and her body was strapped onto a stretcher to be removed. Allegedly, she experienced a few wounds during this episode, including abrasions and contusions to her wrists and one arm.

One neighbour said: “I could hear her crying and screaming. I looked out my window and could see they had her strapped down on a stretcher – it was awful.

“There were two police cars and a van – you would think with all those people they would be able to manage it without tying her down.”

Even though her mental health had recently deteriorated and she had become a “handful” at times, the response was disproportionate, they added.

According to reports, the woman was also black.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Met Police said: “The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) are independently investigating an incident where an elderly woman was restrained by officers in Southwark.

“The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) made a voluntary referral to the IOPC as soon as they were made aware of the incident.

“On Tuesday, 9 May officers were called to an address in SE15 following reports of a disturbance between a woman and her carer.

“Officers attended and identified a 91-year-old lady who was distressed. After officers attempted to engage with her, she was restrained using handcuffs and a spit hood applied after it was alleged one officer was spat at. The woman was then taken to hospital.

“She was not arrested. During the course of the incident, an officer issued a red-dot challenge with their Taser but did not discharge it.

“Following an initial assessment by the DPS, one officer has been suspended and their use of Taser withdrawn. A further five officers have been placed on restricted duties, meaning they will have no contact with the public, while the incident is investigated.

“The woman’s family are aware of the incident. Police are in contact with them and arranged for a family member to view body worn video of the incident.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Seb Adjei-Addoh, who is in charge of policing in Southwark, said: “There are limits to what I am able to say in relation to this incident given it is now subject to an IOPC investigation, however it is clear that this will have been a distressing experience for the lady involved and that the circumstances raise a number of questions that need to be answered.

“While I do not wish to pre-judge this process, officers know that they must be able to justify any use of force or restraint and we will expect that of the officers involved in this incident. They also know that we expect them to show compassion and to adjust their approach in real time according to the circumstances they are faced with.

“I am committed to transparency in relation to this incident. I am already in contact with our key partners and will keep them, and those directly involved, informed as our enquiries progress.”

A spokesperson for the IOPC said: “We can confirm we are investigating the force used by Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers after they detained a 90-year-old woman in Peckham earlier this month.

“On 9 May, officers attended an address in SE15 following a reported disturbance. We understand a woman was restrained, handcuffed and had a spit hood applied. A Taser was deployed but not discharged and the woman was taken to hospital.

“On 17 May the force made a voluntarily conduct referral to us and we began an independent investigation, which is at an early stage.

“We have also received a public complaint concerning the level of force that was used and the injuries it is alleged the woman sustained, including cuts and bruising on both her wrists and one arm. We have been in touch with the woman’s family to explain our role.”

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