An independent investigation report has found that police acted proportionally in dealing with a man who ignored ‘social distancing’ rules and threatened Pharmacy staff.

Officers were called to the premises in Glasgow on Friday 8 May 2020 when the 32-year-old man threatened to shoot a member of the public and burn down the Pharmacy.

He entered the building at around 1.25pm and failed to comply with social distancing guidelines issued under emergency Coronavirus legislation and demanded Methadone from staff for the full weekend.

When this was refused, the man became verbally abusive towards staff. He then left the premises but returned a short time later and spat and coughed at a member of the Pharmacy staff.

A member of the public within the pharmacy took hold of the man and removed him from the premises. The man threatened to shoot the person and set fire to the building.

Police officers were called to the incident, arrested the man and placed him in handcuffs. The man told the officers that he had Coronavirus.

He was placed in a police van where he deliberately struck his head on a seat causing a cut to his forehead before he then struck his head with handcuffs, further injuring himself.

The man was taken to hospital, where officers put on full COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) before entering the hospital. Following treatment to a cut to his forehead, the man was released into police custody.

The man was later charged and remanded in custody.

On 11 May 2020, Police Scotland referred the incident to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC). Our investigation REPORT found that the man’s injuries were self-inflicted after he was arrested.

Commissioner Michelle Macleod said: 

“This man’s behaviour was extremely concerning and distressing for the pharmacy staff and arresting officers given the seriousness of the current COVID-19 crisis. The police officers involved conducted themselves professionally and their response was proportionate and necessary in the face of extreme provocation.”

Media contacts for further information:

Michael Tait, Head of Communications: 07760 990897/ michael.tait@pirc.gov.scot

 

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