This afternoon, a few people have messaged us asking if we have seen the video of Officers from Lancashire Constabulary trying to restrain/arrest/subdue a 14-year-old girl.
The incident took place on Peel Street, Accrington, at 1745hrs on Monday.
We have had a look at the video and clearly it makes for some distressing viewing.
No-one likes to see minors having to be restrained by the police, just as no-one likes to see Police Officers having to struggle with someone in the face of an angry baying crowd.
Ultimately, we weren’t there, so we do not feel comfortable commenting on what happened (as some of our followers have asked us to do) because, as is often the way with these types of incidents, we only get to see what happened immediately before the, in this case, ‘strike’.
If we saw ALL of the footage, then we could probably share our own humble opinion (or at least, my own opinion based on my own time spent in the Police) with our followers who have messaged us about the incident.
All we would encourage people to do, is to try and take into account and consider the fact that there would have been a chain of events leading up to the decision to use force – and either the media who are sharing the video do not want to show what happened beforehand or they do not have the footage.
It is easy to criticise the actions of the Police, but unless you have served in the police and you have repeatedly been put in situations where you have been bitten, punched, spat at, or even worse, had someone go for an item of your personal protective equipment, then you just do not know how you would restrain someone who did not want to cooperate.
The Chief Constable of Lancashire Police has backed his officers in what is quite a rare move, as more-often-than not most (but not all) bosses in the Job are sometimes a bit too quick to leave their officers out on a limb.
Here is the official statement from Lancashire Constabulary:
“At around 5.45pm last night, police officers were flagged down by a member of the public who reported that a large group of youths were fighting at the Market Hall on Peel Street, Accrington.
“The officers attended straightaway and when they arrived the group turned on them.
“As the officers dealt with the incident they used reasonable force to bring the situation under control. T
“This involved the use of an open hand strike when a 14 year old female attempted to grab the officer’s taser and radio.
“She was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer. She has been interviewed and has since been referred to the Youth Offending Team.
“A 52 year old female was also arrested at the scene for assaulting a police officer and has received a police caution.
“Chief Constable Andy Rhodes said: “I am aware of the mobile phone footage of this incident and have reviewed it personally.
“My officers have responded as a result of a concerned member of the public and have been met by a very hostile situation.
“As they’ve brought the situation under control officers have been assaulted and have received medical treatment as a result.
“It is very easy to judge from the side lines without the full facts when you’ve never been in a similar situation yourself.
“These are your police officers and they are here to keep you safe. They do not come to work to be assaulted and they have my full support.
“Perhaps those filming the incident may have better used their time helping the officers to calm the situation.”