The Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC) has found that police were justified in using a baton on a man with a history of violence who threatened to stab one of the officers pursuing him.

Officers arrived in the Rutherglen area of Glasgow on the afternoon of 21 January 2019 after police received a call reporting that a man had assaulted a woman and had a knife. On seeing the man they tried to arrest him but he ran away.

One of the officers chased the man for a significant distance, during which he threatened to stab the officer. The officer then aimed to strike the man’s right arm with his baton but as he did so the man ducked down and the baton struck his head, causing him a minor injury. Following a short struggle the man was arrested.

The PIRC report, published today (14 June 2019), found that the officers who dealt with the incident knew the man had previous convictions for violence and carrying weapons. There was also intelligence that he had previously threatened to stab a police officer and was known to carry a knife.

Taking the man’s actions into account at that time and the officer’s assessment of the risk he posed, the report found that the officer’s baton use was necessary, proportionate and justified in the circumstances.

Police Scotland referred the incident to the PIRC on 23 January 2019. The investigation looked into the circumstances leading up to the use of the baton by the police officer and the subsequent injury to the man.

The man was charged with a number of offences and later convicted. You can read the investigation report and its findings here.