West Midlands Police (WMP) has released a statement after a partial clip of a police interaction with a youth was shared on social media.
In the 53-second clip, an officer can be seen using an officer safety technique to restrain the male on the floor.
The clip being shared does not show what the youth did before the police restrain him.
Bystanders can be heard shouting: ‘He’s a little boy’ as the youth calls the officer detaining him a ‘f**king pr**k’.
A spokesperson for WMP said:
‘We are aware of footage circulating on social media of an incident in the Mander Centre in Wolverhampton yesterday (14 June).
‘We were alerted by the retail radio at the centre when two teenagers were causing a disturbance around 3pm after being reported missing from school.
‘The boys were being abusive to shoppers and causing disorder.
‘A PCSO attended but the level of behaviour by the boys was such that a plain clothes officer intervened and attempted to detain them. Additional officers were called for support and it was necessary to restrain a 13-year-old boy for his own safety and that of officers.
‘Officers were also required to manage hostile members of the public while the boy and another 13-year-old were arrested for breach of the peace, during which the 13-year-old punched one officer several times.
‘They were later de-arrested at the police station and handed over to appropriate adults.
‘One of the boys will be dealt with at a later date for assaulting a police officer and damaging office equipment at the station’.
Chief Inspector Hasson Shigdar, from Wolverhampton Central Police Station, said:
“We understand that incidents like these are very emotive when viewed on social media, but please remember that a snapshot does not tell the whole situation the officers faced.
“We are collating body-worn footage and our Professional Standards Department will make a full assessment, but initial investigation shows that officers acted appropriately within Home Office guidelines.”
The clip emerged six days after Home Secretary Priti Patel told the Police Federation of England and Wales that she wanted to see an end to ‘trial by social media during their annual conference.
Recently, partial clips of police having to go ‘hands on’ with suspects have been shared widely across social media, without any regard or credence being given to the sequence of events leading up to officers having to use reasonable force on violent and abusive suspects.
She told the audience:
“I will not let the police be subjected to trial by social media.
“That’s why I backed the federation’s call for forces to share body-worn video footage to counter highly selective, and misleading, video clips uploaded on to social media.
“I want forces to be more proactive in sharing body-worn video footage to highlight the fantastic work of their officers, to build public confidence, and to correct harmful misinformation circulating online.
“As part of this process, we will be looking carefully at strengthening the system of local community scrutiny and the value of body-worn video, because transparency is vital.”
‘He’s a little boy!’ scream bystanders…— FoxtrotCop 🚔🇬🇧 (@Foxtrot_Cop) June 15, 2021
The ‘little boy’ calls the sole copper restraining him a ‘fucking pr*ck’ after police were called to reports of ‘little boys’ truanting and causing a disturbance.
A failure in parenting, not policing.pic.twitter.com/p6FZRgl1NM
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