Porthmadog: Police officer under criminal investigation following punch video probe by watchdog

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A police officer who was filmed 'repeatedly punching' a man during an arrest is under criminal investigation, the police watchdog has confirmed.

The footage appeared to show a man, 34, being punched repeatedly in the head during an arrest by two police officers in Porthmadog.

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

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) began their investigation after the incident involving North Wales Police officers last month, following a referral from the force.

They say the officer had been suspended by North Wales Police and a second officer had been also served with a misconduct notice.

The police watchdog said their investigation is "progressing", and explained what they know so far:

  • At around 11 am on 10 May, two officers were sent to a reported disturbance at an address in the town.

  • At about 11:50am the officers located a man in the garden of a nearby house and arrested him.

  • Footage shows an officer striking the man to his head a number of times, while on the ground.

  • The same officer used incapacitant spray towards the man as he was being placed in the rear of a police van.

  • While en route to the police station, it was noticed that the man appeared to be unwell and was given first aid.

  • He was then taken by ambulance to hospital and was later released back into police custody. 

In a statement, they said they have "examined police body worn video and phone footage of the incident, taken witness statements including from the injured man, and located relevant CCTV footage.

"We are examining whether the force used was justifiable, proportionate and necessary, if the aftercare provided following arrest was appropriate, and whether the officers acted in accordance with their training and followed North Wales Police’s policies and procedures. North Wales Police are cooperating fully with our enquiries."

IOPC Director David Ford said they have notified a police constable that they are under criminal investigation and have served them a gross misconduct notice.

"We are progressing our investigation in a thorough and timely manner, carefully securing and examining a range of evidence to establish what took place during the whole incident." He said.

“Based on the evidence we have reviewed so far, we have notified a police constable that they are under criminal investigation and have served them a gross misconduct notice. This does not necessarily mean that criminal or disciplinary proceedings will follow.

He added: "We understand the officer has been suspended by North Wales Police. We have also served a misconduct notice on another police constable concerning the level of care provided to the man after his arrest.”