A man has died after he fell into the River Thames while evading police capture.
Officers were in the process of arresting the 24-year-old, but hadn’t yet put on handcuffs, when he broke free.
His body was found in the water two hours later after a major search operation.
Video from the scene last night shows police and fire crews stationed near to the bridge.
A Met Police spokesperson told Metro.co.uk: ‘At around 10.30pm on Friday, 26 August, police on routine patrol were flagged down on Kingston Bridge to a verbal altercation involving a man and a woman who were known to each other.
‘An allegation of theft was made. Officers were in the process of arresting the man, believed to be aged in his 20s, when he entered the water. He had not been placed in handcuffs.’
An independent investigation into the Met Police’s handling of the case has been launched, it was confirmed this morning.
An Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) spokesperson told Metro.co.uk: ‘Officers attended an altercation involving the man, 24, and a woman at around 10.30pm on Friday (26 August).
‘They made the decision to arrest the man who then entered the water. He had not been placed in handcuffs.
‘The man was recovered from the water at around 12.30am and sadly pronounced dead at the scene.
‘IOPC investigators attended the police post-incident procedures to obtain initial accounts from the officers involved.
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‘We have now begun the process of gathering and reviewing evidence, including footage of the interaction between officers and the man.
‘Our thoughts are with the man’s loved ones and all those affected by his death.’
The man’s body was pulled from the water at 12.30am. He was pronounced dead by paramedics.
The Met’s Marine Policing Unit, National Police Air Service, London Fire Brigade and the RNLI had all been involved in last night’s search of the Thames.
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