Final warning for Leicestershire police officer who struck man with baton 12 times during arrest

The arrest took place at De Montfort University last June Credit: PA Images

A police officer who used at least 12 baton strikes during the arrest of a man at a university has been given a final written warning.

A three-day gross misconduct hearing held by Leicestershire Police found Pc Toby Beasley breached professional standards during the incident at Leicester’s De Montfort University last June.

The allegations related to the officer’s use of force, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said.

The IOPC launched an independent investigation after the arrested man was taken to hospital with minor injuries sustained in an unrelated incident, and to assess bruising caused during the baton strikes.

He had received strikes to his back, shoulder, arms and legs, the IOPC said.

The inquiry team considered body-worn video and witness evidence to examine whether PC Beasley’s "early deployment of his baton and his use of force prior to and during the arrest were proportionate, reasonable and necessary."

The police watchdog added he "did not adequately review or aim each strike appropriately".

"The force used exceeded what was required" - IOPC finds

Speaking after a police disciplinary panel decided the officer had breached police professional standards, IOPC regional director Derrick Campbell said: “Officers are trained to deescalate potentially volatile situations and have a variety of techniques which they can deploy."

"Police guidance sets out that non-violent methods should be used before resorting to any use of force."

"Only when these methods have proved ineffective or unlikely to achieve the lawful objective in resolving the situation should force be used."

Mr Campbell said: "In this incident, the detainee appears to offer some low-level resistance but at no time could he be seen to be a violent risk to the officers present."

"It was Pc Beasley’s belief that the man posed an imminent threat to both himself and his colleagues and he considered his only response was to administer at least 12 baton strikes in quick succession – across the man’s back, shoulder, arms and legs.“

"We assessed that he did not adequately review or aim each strike appropriately before issuing another – with one of his strikes hitting a colleague."

Mr Campbell added: "We considered relevant policies and took into account the officer’s relative inexperience and restrictions on personal safety training in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We concluded the force used exceeded what was required in the circumstances."

"The disciplinary panel has decided Pc Beasley’s actions breached the standards of professional behaviour in respect of use of force, duties and responsibilities and discreditable conduct."