A male officer was filmed bending down next to the detained man and apparently thumping him hard in the face during the incident in Portsmouth – Hampshire Police are investigating
Pinned down in the road by three officers, a shirtless man appears to be kneed and punched in the head by a policeman.
A passerby filmed the scene and last night the actions of the officers were being investigated by force bosses. The footage was recorded on a phone camera after a man was detained in Portsmouth, Hants.
As shoppers went about their business, at least three officers were filmed pinning the suspect to the road. A male officer was then filmed bending down next to the detained man and apparently thumping him hard in the face. Footage also appeared to show the officer delivering several blows with his knee and an arm being placed over the suspect’s neck.
Official guidelines state police can legally use “reasonable” force when making an arrest – but only when it is deemed “necessary”. Former Scotland Yard detective Peter Bleksley said: “Neck restraint is dangerous and can cause asphyxiation – it should be avoided.
“If a suspect is not attempting to bite or spit, punching and blows to the head would not normally be considered proportionate or reasonable.” Hampshire Constabulary said the video was taken during an arrest made at 5pm on February 1.
A 39-year-old was detained on suspicion of assault – including of a police officer – and possessing an offensive weapon in public and bailed. No one was seriously injured in the altercation, police said, and the force is appealing for witnesses. A source said the detained man complained the incident left him traumatised and in severe pain.
When confronted with the clip, Hampshire Constabulary said it was reviewing the incident. A spokesman said: “We can confirm we have received a complaint in relation to the incident and it is currently being handled by our professional standards department, as is routine with any complaints received. We received reports that a man assaulted three members of the public, two police officers and a PCSO. We are looking to identify two potential victims of the assault who were no longer on the scene when police attended. One is believed to be a Deliveroo cyclist.”
Witnesses are advised to call 101 quoting reference 44240047305.