Essex Police explain why punching Tilbury UKIP councillor in the face whilst arresting hm was not excessive force

ipcc

ESSEX Police has gone into a more detail regarding the arrest of a Tilbury Ukip councillor over Christmas last year.

As previously reported, cllr John Allen was arrested after police were called to the home of Tilbury St Chads councillor John Allen in Stifford Clays and “arrested a man who had been violent against members of his family”.

The arrest was investigated after it was claimed that a police officer had assaulted cllr Allen. Cllr Allen did require hospital treatment for injuries to his nose.

The report revealed that one of the officer’s body cameras recorded an officer “punching the man in the face”.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) conducted a ten month long investigation and concluded that “there was enough evidence to level a charge of gross misconduct against the officer”.

Essex Police disagreed and said they “did not believe that excessive force was used”.

So, we asked Essex Police the following question: “In what way is it acceptable or “not use of excessive force” for an officer to punch someone in the face whilst making an arrest?

“It would be helpful if we could get a little more detail on what happened once the police arrived in the house”.

An Essex Police spokesperson said: “Police officers often intervene in complex or dangerous situations. On occasion, this may mean using force to protect the public at the scene of an incident, a police officer making an arrest or the person being arrested.

“As part of its investigation, the IPCC carefully considered the evidence, including the officer’s evidence about the threat he faced at the time of this particular incident.

“The recommendations made by Essex Police following the IPCC’s investigation were supported by the IPCC and have subsequently been actioned”.

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Original story

AN investigation into the circumstances surrounding the arrest of a Tilbury UKIP councillor on suspicion of assault has revealed that he was punched in the face by a police officer.

But despite this, the only sanction imposed on the officer is that he must ensure he wears his body camera on future occasions.

The circumstances have been detailed in a report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Essex Police were called to the home of Tilbury St Chads councillor John Allen in Gourney Grove, Stifford Clays at around 7pm on December 27th, 2016.

The report states that they were called to a domestic incident as a man was being “violent to members of his family”.

Cllr John Allen was arrested but later released without charge. At some stage, he was taken to Basildon Hospital due to injuries to his nose.

A few weeks later, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) instigated an investigation after complaints were made regarding the officer’s conduct.

Ten months later, the report has been released.

The report reveals that despite the police being filmed punching cllr Allen, the officer has escaped any gross misconduct charges and has simply to ensure that he wears his body-cam at all times.

The IPCC felt there was enough evidence to level a charge of gross misconduct against the officer but Essex Police disagreed. They did not believe that “excessive force was used”.

YT spoke to the leader of Thurrock UKIP.

Cllr Graham Snell said: “We spoke to Cllr Allen as well as his wife. It was a neighbour who complained and it appears that they over-reacted. The whole incident has been a storm in a teacup.

“There was no violence between cllr Allen and his wife and as you can note, the police did not charge cllr Allen.

“So on that basis (as we said in December) there was no need for an internal investigation or suspension.

“Cllr Allen is disappointed with the outcome and is taking stock of the verdict.”

Cllr Allen has not responded to our request for a statement.

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The full IPCC report:

“On 26 December 2016, Essex Police was called to attend a domestic abuse incident. One of the officers called to the scene arrested a man who had been violent against members of his family. The officer handcuffed and arrested the man in the hallway of his home. The officer did not have his body-worn camera on, but the footage from another police officer’s body-worn camera showed that the front door was closed for part of the arrest, but then opened, and the officer could be seen punching the man in the face. The man was later found to have sustained bruising and soft tissue swelling to the right eye orbit. It was also alleged that the same police officer pushed another member of the public in the chest. Both members of the public made separate complaints against the police officer, alleging excessive use of force.

“During the investigation, investigators looked at both complaints separately. They obtained all video footage available and interviewed all civilians and police witnesses who agreed to provide statements. Investigators also obtained medical reports and photos of injuries sustained during the altercation. Relevant police officers’ training and conduct records also informed the investigation.

“The Investigator concluded that there was sufficient evidence upon which a reasonable tribunal, properly directed, could find gross misconduct in relation to the police officer’s strike to the face of a member of the public.

“The Investigator also concluded that there was insufficient indication that excessive force was used when he pushed another member of the public in the chest.

“After reviewing our report, the force disagreed that the officer had used excessive force and that disciplinary action was required. They recommended that the officer be put on an action plan to ensure that they would wear serviceable body-worn camera and use it to record any arrest or interaction where there is a likelihood of force being used.

“We carefully considered the views from the force and the evidence – in particular the strength of the officer’s defence about the threat he faced at the time he used force – and agreed that their proposal was appropriate.

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