Video: Met Police officer punches and kicks member of the public in New Malden, Kingston

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Body worn camera footage shows Thomas Karlsen punching and kicking a member of the public while working as a Met Police officer in New Malden, Kingston.

Body worn camera footage shows the moment a Met Police officer punched and kicked a member of the public.

Appearing at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday (September 5), Thomas Karlsen avoided an immediate jail term when his four-month sentence was suspended for a year.

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The former police constable was attached to the South West Command Unit when the attack took place in November 2022.

Punched and kicked

Officers attended an address in New Malden following reports by the occupants of a domestic dispute involving a relative who was staying at the property.

Karlsen attempted to detain a man and while doing so he punched and kicked him, as well as using PAVA (pelargonic acid vanillylamide) spray at close proximity. He arrested the man on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker and resisting arrest.

The man was transferred to hospital with swelling to the face and a split lip, and later taken into police custody. Following a review of body worn video, he was released with no further action.

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Police inquiry

Karlsen was referred to the directorate of Professional Standards and the matter was referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which requested a local investigation.

Karlsen was interviewed under caution and charged on May 22 with ABH. He was suspended from duty.

On June 27, Karlsen appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm.

Footage shows PC Thomas Karlsen, of the Met Police, attacking a member of the public. (Photo by MPS)Footage shows PC Thomas Karlsen, of the Met Police, attacking a member of the public. (Photo by MPS)
Footage shows PC Thomas Karlsen, of the Met Police, attacking a member of the public. (Photo by MPS)

At the sentencing on Tuesday, Karlsen was told to undergo 20 days’ “rehabilitation activity”, do 80 hours of unpaid work under a community order and pay £400 in compensation to the victim.

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Karlsen resigned from the Met in July but a misconduct hearing concluded on August 3 that had he still been serving, he would have been dismissed.

The Met says a second constable, who was with Karlsen at the time of the incident, will face a misconduct meeting but is not subject to any restrictions.

The Met Police

Detective Chief Superintendent Clair Kelland, in charge of South West Command Unit, said: “Former PC Karlsen’s actions that day were shocking, and completely disproportionate to the situation he faced. I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to the victim. It is clear from the body worn video that this would have been a very traumatic experience which will have had a long lasting impact. Officers from our Directorate of Professional Standards continue to offer him every support.

“We have been explicit about the high standards we expect from officers and know that we must maintain these in order to increase the trust that our communities have in us. The powers afforded to us must be used fairly and professionally, and it is clear that this was absolutely not the case on this occasion.”