Avon and Somerset Police has released a statement following the clearing of one of its officers of common assault.
PC Claire Boddie has been found not guilty of assault relating to the deployment of a Taser on 63-year-old Judah Adunbi in the Easton area of Bristol in January 2017.
Following the court hearing, Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cullen said:
“A District Judge has cleared an officer of assaulting a member of the public with a Taser in Bristol in January 2017.
“As a result of today’s judgment, we will now work with the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) on the misconduct process.
“As this process needs to be line with national and force protocols, it may be several weeks before a final decision is made.
“While we are limited in what we can say while these proceedings are ongoing, to ensure they are conducted fairly and without prejudice, we do want to acknowledge the deep and genuine concerns this incident has raised in some of our communities.
“We want to be open and transparent about our use of powers, including use of Taser, so communities trust us to use them appropriately and lawfully. This also means having processes in place to independently scrutinise how we use them.
“There are always lessons to be learned and we haven’t waited for the outcome of this case to take positive action. We’ve already:
- Commissioned an independent review of our approach to Taser carried out by another police force
- Issued Body Worn Video to all frontline officers to act as an independent witness and to improve transparency and accountability
- Published data on our website about all incidents where force is used – including the use of Taser
- Worked with the Police and Crime Commissioner to introduce a panel made up of independent members of the community to scrutinise how we use policing powers
- Explained to community leaders how Taser works and why we use it
- Released a public awareness video explaining how and why we use Taser
- Run a Citizen’s Academy masterclass on Taser and use of force
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cullen continues:
“We know there’s more to do, but we’re wholeheartedly committed to improving public trust and confidence. We’re doing this by listening to our local communities and working closely with all our partner agencies and stakeholders.
“Neighbourhood policing is at the heart of strong and diverse communities and we want to engage with all those affected by this incident so we can move forward with a common goal of working together to keep our communities safe.”