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Watchdog investigates after North Wales Police officer filmed punching man in head

11 May 2023 3 minute read
The video of the arrest has been circulating online

The police watchdog has launched an independent investigation into the actions of a Welsh police officer after he was filmed punching a man repeatedly in the head.

Footage of the incident emerged on social media and has caused considerable “public concern”, the Independent Office for Police Conduct said.

The incident happened on Wednesday during the arrest of a 34-year-old man from the Pensyflog area of Porthmadog, North Wales, after officers were called to an address in relation to a domestic incident, the IOPC said on Thursday.

It said inquiries were now under way to “establish whether the level of force used during the arrest was reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances”.

Concerned bystanders filmed the interaction and videos show the man being pinned face down on the ground by a male and female police officer before the male officer puts his arm around the man’s neck in a headlock and punches him nine times in the side of the head.

The man can be seen struggling and groaning in pain as the female officer puts him in handcuffs.

In a second clip he can be seen with a bloodied and swollen face as he is put in a police van.

A Twitter user who posted the footage online called for the officer who threw the punches to be sacked.

The video has now been viewed more than 100,000 times and commenters called into question the force as a whole.

Police brutality

After being tagged in the post, Gareth Davies, Conservative Senedd member for the Vale of Clwyd, tweeted to North Wales Police Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman and Home Secretary Suella Braverman: “This is police brutality. What are you doing? Surely we’re better than this?”

Gwynedd councillor Nia Jeffreys said the incident had “shaken” people’s trust in the police.

North Wales Police said the man was taken to hospital for treatment before being transferred into custody.

They confirmed a referral had been made to the IOPC and said the matter would be “fully investigated”.

The force also asked that only eye-witnesses to the incident now contact them and directed those who wish to make a complaint to the IOPC website.

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.”

Andy Dunbobbin, North Wales police and crime commissioner, said: “The video that is circulating of the arrest of a male in Porthmadog is concerning.

“I have discussed this incident with the chief constable this morning and she has confirmed the matter is rightly being investigated by North Wales Police, who will be issuing further updates in due course.

“As police and crime commissioner, I take such incidents seriously and will work with the police and other bodies to understand the circumstances behind the footage and act accordingly when the facts are established.”


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wayne
wayne
9 months ago

There is a positive to this video. The abhorrent behaviour of this thug in uniform has been caught on camera. You don’t have to wander to far that this behaviour is normal practice and the thugs are following a well trodden path. The police have to switch on their body cam prior to talking with a suspect. No red light was seen in the video indicating that their body cams were on. A thugs word carries more weight than a suspect in court! Well done to the by stander who has exposed the Thugs.

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
9 months ago
Reply to  wayne

And not just a thug, but a thug with an ego problem, like so many of his co-thugs who don the uniform.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
9 months ago

Our policing is getting more & more like America. Thank heaven’s guns are not deployed in these situations. Gone are the days where police officers used to be from and live in those same communities policed rather than reside in the affluent areas. I know the police have a thankless job at times. Attend callouts where they see the most harrowing of scenes, but to restrain those resiting arrest doesn’t mean you punch them in the face no matter how heated the situation is. This situation has only come to light because it was filmed. How many times have officers… Read more »

Windy
Windy
9 months ago

Not just a thug but a cowardly thug.
Once a thug always a thug , how many times has this thug performed this type of LEGAL arrest before

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