Independent investigations have found that the police response to two incidents during the current COVID-19 health crisis was proportionate.

On 4 May 2020 (link to report), Police Scotland responded to a report that several people had gathered within an address in Glasgow. When officers attempted to speak with the 26-year-old householder, who appeared to be in an agitated state and under the influence of drink or drugs, and his 28-year-old brother they both reacted aggressively.

The two men forcibly pushed one of the officers and brandished a broken hockey stick at both officers, resulting in PAVA spray being discharged at both men to bring the situation  under control.

Three other people who had been present were issued with fixed penalty notices for contravening the Coronavirus legislation. The 26-year-old and 28-year-old were arrested  and subsequently reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

Police Scotland referred the incident to the PIRC and the subsequent investigation found the discharge of the PAVA was proportionate and necessary to prevent further injury to the officers and to bring the incident to a safe conclusion.

The second incident (link to report) occurred on 1 May 2020 when police were sent to an address in Edinburgh after receiving a report of a man breaking into garden sheds. The 35-year-old was tracked by a police dog and, ignoring an instruction to stay still, he grabbed the dog by the neck, which reacted and bit him several times on the ankle.

Police took the man to hospital for treatment, where he was continually abusive to NHS staff and the officers, resulting in him having to be physically restrained by police. The man was arrested and found to be in possession of a number of implements, including a large knife. He was subsequently reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

Police Scotland referred the incident to the PIRC and the subsequent investigation found the deployment of the police dog was proportionate and that the man’s continued abusive behaviour, towards NHS staff and police officers was concerning and distressing given the current COVID-19 crisis.

Media contacts for further information: Michael Tait, Head of Communications, 01698 542 920/07760 990897, michael.tait@pirc.gov.scot

 

 

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