Porthmadog: Police watchdog to investigate whether officer used 'reasonable' force during arrest

This video contains distressing images

Video credit: Facebook

The police watchdog has said it will independently investigate whether a police officer used "reasonable" force during an arrest of a man in Porthmadog.

North Wales Police referred itself to the IOPC on Thursday after a video circulated online of a 34-year-old man being arrested by two police officers. It appears to show a male officer punching him repeatedly in the head while pinning him to the ground with his arm around his neck.

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, which has been viewed more 1.3 million times on Twitter, has caused shock across social media.

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.

In a statement, the IOPC said, "We understand that officers arrested a man at an address after being called to a domestic incident.  We have been advised that the man was taken to hospital for treatment after the arrest before being transferred into custody.

IOPC Director David Ford added, “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.”