Tyne & Wear

South Shields custody injury officers 'used reasonable force'

Two police detention officers used "reasonable force" to restrain a man who suffered an injury in custody, a report said.

A man, 25, had said he was assaulted at South Shields police station.

The officers admitted using force to restrain an "aggressive detainee", in June last year, but the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said it was proportionate.

However, the watchdog found the incident was not recorded properly.

The man was arrested by Northumbria Police on 22 June 2013 and detained on suspicion of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

'Distraction blows'

The force referred the matter to the IPCC when the man suffered an injury to his left eye. He later claimed he had been assaulted when he was seen by health professionals, after being detained under the Mental Health Act.

The watchdog examined CCTV from the police station, which showed the man lunged at one of the detention officers before being restrained and placed in handcuffs.

In an interview, the man recalled stepping towards one of the officers, being pinned down and punched possibly four or five times in the face.

Both detention officers were interviewed under caution and admitted using force with one saying he used "distraction blows" while his colleague was bitten on the hand by the detainee.

The IPCC found the use of force by the two officers was proportionate and reasonable in the circumstances, appropriate procedures were followed in relation to his mental health and there was no misconduct case to answer.

However, it said the incident was not recorded appropriately and a sergeant should be given management advice.

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