Posted: Thu 11th May 2023

Watchdog confirms investigation into ‘concerning’ North Wales Police arrest

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, May 11th, 2023

The police watchdog is set to investigate a video of a man being arrested in Porthmadog which has attracted widespread criticism. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The footage, which has been widely circulated on social media, appeared to show an officer punching the 34-year-old man as he was held on the ground. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

A later video appears to show the same man with a large swelling on the side of his face as he is being placed into a police vehicle. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

It’s been confirmed the man was taken to hospital for treatment after the arrest before being transferred into custody. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The incident which took place yesterday has now been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

North Wales Police said it would not be commenting further while the investigation takes place. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

A force spokesperson said: “We are aware of an incident involving an arrest of a male in the Porthmadog area on 10th May 2023, which has resulted in the circulation of video footage via social media and messaging channels. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The matter has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) by ourselves and the matter will be investigated by the IOPC as an independent investigation. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“We are grateful for the contact from members of the public highlighting this incident, but at this time would appreciate further contact being restricted to any potential witnesses to the actual incident, rather than those who have viewed the matter third hand by video or other means. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“As this matter is subject of ongoing investigation the force will not be commenting further regarding this matter at this time.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Anyone who wishes to submit a complaint regarding such incidents has been asked to refer to the following IOPC guidance. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner has also commented on the video, describing it as “concerning”. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Labour’s Andy Dunbobbin said: “The video circulating of the arrest of a male in Porthmadog is concerning. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“I discussed this incident with the Chief Constable this morning & she has confirmed the matter is rightly being investigated by N Wales Police, who have now referred it to the IOPC for consideration. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“As Police and Crime Commissioner, I take such incidents very seriously & will work with the police & other bodies to understand the circumstances behind the footage. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Given this incident is now subject of an ongoing investigation I cannot comment further at this stage.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

IOPC Director David Ford said: “Footage on social media, capturing part of the interaction between police officers and the arrested man has, understandably, attracted significant interest and public concern. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“It is important that we thoroughly and independently investigate the whole incident, in order to establish whether the level of force used during the arrest was reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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