Porthmadog: Police refer themselves to watchdog after video shows officer 'punching man in head'

This video contains distressing images

Video credit: Facebook

North Wales Police have referred themselves to the police watchdog after videos circulated online appear to show a police officer arresting a man in Porthmadog and punching him repeatedly in the head.

In one of the videos, which has been shared on social media, it appears to show a 34-year-old man being pinned to the ground by a male and female police officer before the male officer grabs hold of his neck and punches him a number of times.

The suspect could be heard groaning in pain as a female officer handcuffed him while onlookers shouted at police.

A second video appears to show the man being put in the back of a police van with his eye and face visibly swollen following the arrest.

North Wales Police said that the man was taken to hospital for treatment before being transferred into custody and that the incident is being "fully investigated" and "further updates will be issued in due course."

The video shows a man being pinned to the ground by a male officer

The video, which has now been viewed over 850,000 times, has caused shock and outrage online with commenters calling into question the force as a whole.

After being tagged in the post Gareth Davies, the Tory Senedd member for the Vale of Clwyd, tweeted at North Wales Police Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman and 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” the public’s trust in the police.

People shared their reactions to the video on social media, with one user saying: "I feel physically sick after watching that".

While another said: "Absolutely shocking"

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.”

An IOPC spokesperson said, “We became aware this morning of a video shared on social media showing an incident in Porthmadog involving a police officer.

"We have now received a referral from North Wales Police which is being assessed to determine what action may be needed by the IOPC.”