Lancashire policeman moved to new duties after IPCC inquiry

A policeman has been removed from night patrol duties after an investigation into allegations that he and a colleague used excessive force.

They related to the arrest of a 22-year-old man in Blackpool on 1 January.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) concluded there was insufficient evidence to support the allegations.

But it found the police constable and a fellow officer submitted inaccurate statements after the incident.

The complainant had been celebrating the new year with his girlfriend and her sister and boyfriend on The Strand when a disturbance broke out and the officers intervened.

'Distraction blows'

The IPCC concluded from watching CCTV footage that the complainant was angry as he believed one of the officers had pushed a woman to the floor.

The officer who has been moved to alternative duties hit the man in the face four times using what he described in a statement as "distraction blows", claiming that the man had refused to let go of his arm.

The man was restrained again after being escorted to Queen Street where he was arrested.

He was struck in the face three times by the second officer, who claimed the man had grabbed his leg.

The IPCC said that it "could not prove or disprove absolutely whether the man had grabbed hold of the two officers in the separate altercations".

"However there was sufficient evidence to determine on the balance of probabilities that it was more likely than not that the man had seized one of the officers.

"As a result, the actions taken by the officers were deemed justified and proportionate."

Both officers were told that their use of force and statements would be monitored in future.

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