Met police officer sacked for punch had kept job despite earlier incidents

Inquiries are under way (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Archive)
Inquiries are under way (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Archive)

A police officer sacked for punching a woman in the face had a history of improper use of force but kept his role at the Met, it has emerged.

PC Shanoor Ali struck the woman in the face - loosening her tooth - and then punched her on the ground during an arrest in Tooting in June 2021.

The officer was sacked for gross misconduct at a hearing last month, after a panel found the violence was “excessive” and disproportionate.

It has now emerged Ali was previously disciplined twice, in 2020 and 2021, for use of force in the course of his police work, but continued in his role as an officer.

In the incident that ended his 13-year career, Ali – from the Met’s South West Area response team – was called out to a suspected break-in where a man was arrested for possession of drugs.

A woman who objected to the arrest and refused requests to leave the area was ultimately punched by Ali, and then struck again when she was forced to the ground.

In a ruling on his dismissal, a disciplinary panel found Ali’s punch was not the “minimum force necessary in the circumstances and was excessive”, adding that the PC had been dishonest in his account of the incident.

The ruling also disclosed that the officer had previous kept hold of his job despite disciplinary issues.

“He had been the subject of two separate findings, which he had disputed, relating to the improper use of force in 2020 and 2021”, said panel chair Cameron Brown KC.

“While those matters were clearly at a lower level, the Panel considered that the latest incident appeared to reflect an escalating pattern of improper use of force.”

The ruling reveals that Ali faced “low level sanctions” over the two earlier incidents.

Following the attack on the woman on June 27, 2021, Ali told a Sergeant that she “just grabbed me” and ripped his shirt and police vest, justifying the use of force by saying: “Because I told her to leave and she literally went like that and grabbed me so I chinned her.”

“His account to the Sergeant made no reference to the force he had used prior to (the woman) grabbing his vest, while going backwards”, concluded the panel.

The woman was arrested before the truth of the incident was uncovered, and she was considered for a possible prosecution.

She told the disciplinary hearing it took her three months to physically recover from injuries including a dislodged tooth, she has been “emotionally affected” and has lost faith in the police.

The case comes amid unprecedented scrutiny of the Metropolitan Police Service, its officers, and the way misconduct allegations are handled.

A National Police Chiefs’ Council report released this week revealed that nine out of ten complaints about officers’ treatment of women were dropped, in a study of cases between October 2021 and March 2022.

In more than 1,500 allegations against officers across the country of violence towards women and girls, less than one per cent went on to be sacked.

Responding to the NPCC report, the Met’s lead on violence against woman and girls, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Helen Millichap, said the force is committed to rooting out rogue officers within the ranks.

“We have a new Anti-Corruption and Abuse Command, with detectives who are bringing the same investigative approach to identifying wrongdoing in our ranks as we do to identifying organised criminality.

“We launched the first ever public appeal line - the Crimestoppers Police Integrity Hotline to make it easier for the public to report officers of concern, an initiative now planned for rollout nationally.

“We recognise there is far more work to be done to effectively tackle all types of violence against women and girls and to gain trust.”