Posted: Thu 8th Jun 2023

Criminal investigation launched into video of North Wales Police officer ‘punching’ man

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jun 8th, 2023

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A criminal investigation has been launched into a video appearing to show a police officer punching a man who was being arrested in Porthmadog. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The footage from last month, which sparked outrage in the community, showed a 34-year-old man being held on the ground as an officer punched him to the head several times. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Another video showed the man who was arrested with a large swelling on the side of his face as he was placed into a police vehicle. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

It was later confirmed the man was taken to hospital for treatment after being arrested, before being transferred into custody. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has today (Thursday, 8 June) shared an update on its investigation into the use of force. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The probe began on the day after the incident following a referral from North Wales Police. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The IOPC has now confirmed a police constable is under criminal investigation after the region’s police force previously confirmed the officer involved had been suspended. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Another police constable has also been served with a misconduct notice in relation to the level of care provided to the man after his arrest. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

In a statement, the IOPC said: “We have established that at around 11am on 10 May, two officers were sent to a reported disturbance at an address in the town. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“At about 11.50am the officers located a man in the garden of a nearby house and arrested him. Footage shows an officer striking the man to his head a number of times, while on the ground. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The same officer used incapacitant spray towards the man as he was being placed in the rear of a police van. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“While en route to the police station, it was noticed that the man appeared to be unwell and was given first aid. He was then taken by ambulance to hospital and was later released back into police custody. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“We have examined police body worn video and phone footage of the incident, taken witness statements including from the injured man, and located relevant CCTV footage. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“We are examining whether the force used was justifiable, proportionate and necessary, if the aftercare provided following arrest was appropriate, and whether the officers acted in accordance with their training and followed North Wales Police’s policies and procedures. North Wales Police are cooperating fully with our enquiries.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

IOPC Director David Ford said: “There has been considerable interest and public concern over the footage shared widely on social media, which shows some of the interaction between police officers and the man being arrested. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“We are progressing our investigation in a thorough and timely manner, carefully securing and examining a range of evidence to establish what took place during the whole incident. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Based on the evidence we have reviewed so far, we have notified a police constable that they are under criminal investigation and have served them a gross misconduct notice. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“This does not necessarily mean that criminal or disciplinary proceedings will follow. We understand the officer has been suspended by North Wales Police. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“We have also served a misconduct notice on another police constable concerning the level of care provided to the man after his arrest.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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