A Metropolitan Police officer has been charged with assaulting a woman who was wrongly arrested for bus fare evasion in front of her young son in Croydon.

Pc Perry Lathwood, 49, attached to the Met’s Road Traffic Policing Command, has been charged with assault by beating.

This is in relation to bruising injuries said to have been caused to the woman’s arm during the arrest on July 21 last year in Whitehorse Road, Croydon, south London.

The woman was later de-arrested when it was confirmed that she had paid the fare.

It comes after an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) which concluded in December.

Lathwood will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on February 14.

Chief superintendent Andy Brittain, who is responsible for policing in Croydon, said: “The news that an officer has been charged with assault will undoubtedly cause a great deal of concern.

“Officers know they must be able to justify their use of force. The Metropolitan Police Service has written to the IOPC seeking urgent clarity on the reasons for the charging decision.”