Police officer 
is disciplined

PSNI
PSNI
  • Youth said he was shaken roughly
  • Officer made threatening remarks
  • PSNI take disciplinary action

A police officer has been disciplined after an investigation found he grabbed and shook a youth.

The incident happened as the officer and three colleagues were responding to reports of youths causing annoyance in Craigavon in November 2013.

The youth said he was shaken roughly from side to side by the officer and he was frightened by the experience.

The officer said he thought the youth was going to assault him or run off, so he grabbed him and conducted a search.

The Police Ombudsman investigator concluded the officer’s actions were ‘oppressive and unprofessional’.

In the youth’s statement, he said he had been in a field with two other youths when they saw four or five people coming towards them.

They started to walk away but found their path blocked by a canal. They said that a police officer then ran towards them, grabbed one by the coat and shook him while screaming abusive and threatening remarks.

The youth said he had been frightened by the experience and thought he was going to be thrown into the canal. He was then searched - nothing was found - and he was told to leave the area.

He was not injured during the incident and did not seek medical attention afterwards.

The officer said he had used minimal force to restrain the youth, but denied having assaulted him. His account was only partially corroborated by his colleagues.

The Police Ombudsman investigator prepared a report for the Public Prosecution Service, that advised that the officer should not be prosecuted.

The investigator then considered the evidence for potential misconduct issues and concluded the officer’s actions had been oppressive and disproportionate to the circumstances.

He found there was no need for the officer to have grabbed hold of the youth and shaken him, and he concluded the officer’s use of language had been inappropriate and unprofessional. The PSNI has since acted on a recommendation the officer be disciplined.