Police watchdog rules out Met probe after force pulled over sprinter Ricardo dos Santos for second time

The 27-year-old Portuguese athlete was pulled over in west London earlier in August


The police watchdog has ruled out an investigation into a complaint over the Metropolitan Police’s second stopping of Portuguese sprinter Ricardo Dos Santos.

The 27-year-old athlete was pulled over in west London earlier in August when officers thought he may have been using a mobile phone while driving.

Scotland Yard said it had made a voluntary referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) over the incident, but the complaint had been returned to the Met.

It added the complainant had been informed of the update.

Mr Dos Santos said he does not feel safe driving in London after the stop
Mr Dos Santos said he does not feel safe driving in London after the stop

In a statement on Thursday, the Met said: “The Independent Office for Police Conduct has decided it does not need to investigate a vehicle stop by Met officers in W2.

“The IOPC have returned this complaint to the Met to investigate. This investigation will be led by the Directorate of Professional Standards. The complainant has been informed.”

It said police had “clearly indicated” for the car to pull over but it “failed to do so”, after which they called for further assistance.

“The driver stopped about five minutes later in Orsett Terrace W2, and the officers spoke to him about why they wanted to stop the vehicle,” the force said.

“Following the conversation, the vehicle was allowed on its way.”

Mr Dos Santos posted dashcam clips of the incident on Twitter, expressing annoyance and accusing the force of over-policing due to the presence of seven armed officers.

He later said he does not feel safe driving in London after the stop, which was the second time he has been pulled over by the Met.

The 400-metre runner also suggested he has recently changed to an electric “family car” in an attempt to avoid being profiled.

Mr Dos Santos and his partner, Bianca Williams, a Team GB athlete, were previously stopped while driving with their baby in Maida Vale, west London, two years ago.

An acting police sergeant and four police constables are all facing gross misconduct disciplinary hearings over the incident, which saw the couple handcuffed and details of their baby stored on a police database.

In the latest stop, Mr Dos Santos’ footage showed a police car stopping in front of him and flashing its blue lights, after which he drove around the vehicle and pulled up some minutes later.

A second clip showed a police officer running up to Mr Dos Santos’s car door and drawing his baton, apparently preparing to smash the window.

An IOPC spokesperson said: “Having assessed a referral from the MPS of a complaint relating to a vehicle stop in Orsett Terrace, west London, on August 14, we notified the MPS last week that the matter does not require investigation by the IOPC.

“We have sent it back to the force to carry out its own investigation. We also advised that should its investigation identify any conduct matters, then the matter should be re-referred. The complainant has now been advised of our decision.”