The Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC) has found that police use of CS Spray against a woman in Dumbarton was appropriate given the circumstances of the incident.

An investigation report published today (6 January 2017) concluded that the CS Spray was used as a last resort as a defence against the woman's actions.

The incident, which was captured on CCTV, took place outside a nightclub in Dumbarton on 11 October 2015 when police officers were called to attend an ongoing disturbance. Following a struggle, the woman was handcuffed and placed in leg restraints while on the ground.

The investigation found that the woman had been biting and spitting blood at the officers before the CS Spray was discharged in her face. CCTV evidence corroborated the accounts of the police officers.   

The Commissioner, Kate Frame, commented:

"The female displayed continued assaultive resistance and aggressive behaviour towards the officers and through her actions was likely to self-harm.

"The discharge of CS Spray was a considered decision, used as a last resort as a defence by the officers against the female's actions while reducing the likelihood that she would injure herself."

Notes to editors

In terms of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 and the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Investigations, Serious Incidents and Specified Weapons) Regulations 2013, all incidents of Police Scotland's use of firearms must be referred to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner for independent investigation.

View the Commissioner's report here