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PC gets final written warning after baton strikes

The Leicestershire officer was given a final written warning relating to his use of force during an arrest.

In June 2021, PC Toby Beasley was involved in the arrest of a man at De Montfort University.

During the course of the arrest, the officer administered at least 12 baton strikes in quick succession, believing the man posed an imminent threat to both himself and his colleagues. 

The IOPC found that the officer did not review or aim each strike appropriately before issuing another. One of the strikes also hit a colleague. 

The man concerned was taken to hospital for injuries from an unrelated incident, but also to assess the bruising caused by the baton strikes. 

The IOPC found that the force exceeded what was required and that PC Beasley had a case to answer for gross misconduct, referring the incident back to the force. 

Following a three-day misconduct hearing, the panel has now found the allegation proven and said he should be issued with a final written warning. 

IOPC Regional Director, Derrick Campbell said: “Officers are trained to deescalate potentially volatile situations and have a variety of techniques which they can deploy.

“Police guidance sets out that non-violent methods should be used before resorting to any use of force. Only when these methods have proved ineffective or unlikely to achieve the lawful objective in resolving the situation should force be used.

“In this incident, the detainee appears to offer some low-level resistance but, at no time could he be seen to be a violent risk to the officers present. It was PC Beasley’s belief that the man posed an imminent threat to both himself and his colleagues and he considered his only response was to administer at least 12 baton strikes in quick succession – across the man’s back, shoulder, arms and legs. We assessed that he did not adequately review or aim each strike appropriately before issuing another – with one of his strikes hitting a colleague.

“We considered relevant policies and took into account the officer’s relative inexperience and restrictions on personal safety training in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.  We concluded the force used exceeded what was required in the circumstances. The disciplinary panel has decided PC Beasley’s actions breached the standards of professional behaviour in respect of use of force, duties and responsibilities and discreditable conduct.”

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