A student has slammed police after being locked in a cell for six hours for having a belt in his car.

Manraj Gahir, 21, was driving home after playing tennis with his friend Danish Ahmed, 22, when they were stopped by a police van in Morland Road, Addiscombe, at about 7.55pm last Tuesday.

Officers searched the car after telling the pair they were investigating a spate of burglaries in the area.

Mr Gahir who is studying to become a quantity surveyor, said: "They were very aggressive, as soon as they opened the door they grabbed us out. They said it was because there was a torch next to us and we might use it as a weapon.

"I had a belt and aftershave in the car door, the car is like my wardrobe I had about ten jackets in there too. They came over with the belt and said what is this used for?

"I said 'Sir it's a clothing accessory,' but they said 'no that is not what we think it is intended for. We are arresting you for possession of an offensive weapon.'

"I just thought what? That is what they say to people that have knives and guns in their car."

The friends were taken to South Norwood custody centre, where they were kept for six hours before being released without charge.

Mr Gahir said the incident had left himself and Mr Ahmed, who is studying to become a doctor, with no confidence in the police.

He said: "It was bullying and harassment, it has affected us. Every time I am driving and see police I think are they going to stop me? Is the same thing going to happen?"

Manraj's dad Harbhajan said he will is making a formal complaint to the IPCC.

He said: "It is absolutely shocking what happened, no wonder people have zero confidence or respect for the police.

"These officers need to be disciplined for treating innocent members of the public like this, it is totally unacceptable."

A police spokesman said: "We can confirm two men were arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon.

"The two men were taken into custody to a south London police station but later released without charge."

Superintendent Rob Atkin, Deputy Borough Commander for Croydon police said: "The Met has recently reviewed its stop and search policy and we are making changes to improve the way stop and search is carried out.

"I would genuinely encourage anybody who feels they have had good or bad experience to let us know so we can identify and share good practice and take appropriate action to help us improve."