PC accused of assaulting man who climbed 15-storey tower block to escape police

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A Metropolitan Police officer will face assault charges over the arrest of a man who clambered up the side of a 15-storey tower block in a dramatic police chase.

PC Luke Wenham, 31, will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said.

He is facing two counts of common assault after the arrest of a man in Elephant and Castle, on August 17 last year.

The man scaled the side of a 15-storey building near Meadow Row while trying to evade police.

A tense stand-off ended after several hours when the man climbed down of his own accord.

Officers were seen cordoning off the walkway of Albert Barnes House with Southwark News reporting at the time an officer told their reporter “we can’t say what’s happening”.

The Met referred the arrest to the IOPC last year and the watchdog completed their investigation in January.

An IOPC statement read: “A Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officer is due in court to face two charges of common assault relating to the arrest of a man in Elephant and Castle on 17 August last year (2022), following an investigation by the IOPC.

“We began our investigation in September last year after we received a conduct referral from the force and concluded it in January, when we sent a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service, which authorised the charges contrary to section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.”

PC Wenham is attached to the Central South Basic Command Unit.