London: A 41-year-old Indian-origin former policewoman has been sentenced for assault after she slapped a 12-year-old boy on the face during an altercation outside a school in the British city of Birmingham last year.
Sharanjit Kaur, a constable with West Midlands Police, resigned last month and was charged following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), the Birmingham Mail newspaper reported.
The Birmingham Magistrates Court heard recently that Kaur was off-duty when she stormed up to school boys as they pushed each other around on the Birmingham street.
Mobile footage of the incident, which took place in October 13 last year, went viral on the social media, leading to a conduct referral to the IOPC from the West Midlands Police.
In the clip, she can be seen racing up to the group of boys with a set of keys in hand as she starts yelling at one of the schoolboys, and then slaps him across the face.
IOPC investigators found that Kaur pushed a boy away from the group, shouted at him “who the hell are you?” and then hit him in the face while holding a set of car keys.
A complaint was also made by the family of the boy who was slapped.
In the footage, snapped outside Nishkam High School, the boy can be heard saying he was “just messing around”.
The strike caused a cut to the boy’s cheek, according to IOPC’s investigations.
When asked by an onlooker, she identified herself as a police officer.
The court handed Kaur a 12-month community order for assault by beating after changing her plea to guilty.
“Police officers may only use force when it is necessary, proportionate, and reasonable in the circumstances. There was no policing purpose or any other justification for the officer to strike the boy, who posed no genuine risk to her,” IOPC Regional Director Derrick Campbell, said.
“The victim’s age and vulnerability were clearly aggravating factors and then Kaur’s actions had the capacity to undermine public confidence in policing. She has quite rightly been held accountable,” Campbell was quoted as saying in The Mail.
An IOPC spokesperson added that now that the criminal case has concluded, the force will hold a misconduct hearing for Kaur “after our investigation found she had a case to answer for gross misconduct in relation to the force she used and other potential breaches of police standards for professional behaviour”.