A police officer was caught on camera ‘punching’ a man in the face before wrestling him to the ground during an arrest in a busy town centre.
The five-minute clip was recorded in Bournemouth on Saturday by 34-year-old Robyn Cummins.
It showed an officer apprehending a man, claiming he matched the description of a shoplifter, before more police arrived.
But the suspect appeared to then be hit in the face and was wrestled onto the tarmac as bystanders expressed their horror.
Christchurch and Poole Police has since defended the officers’ actions and said that they were ‘trained and practised techniques’.
The five-minute clip was recorded in Bournemouth on Saturday as an officer apprehended a man after claiming he matched the description of a shoplifter
More officers arrived before the suspect was hit in the face and wrestled onto his stomach as bystanders expressed their horror
In the clip, a police officer standing outside a row of shops has already apprehended a man wearing blue trousers, a shirt and brown shoes.
The officer appears to have a hold of his wrist and elbow as the man repeatedly says ‘stop a minute, I haven’t done anything’ before asking ‘what are you hurting me for?’
The police officer explains he has stopped the suspect as he matches the description of a shoplifter – but the man continues to protest his innocence and takes a few steps forward.
However, the officer then states he is going to ‘put the man on the floor’ in an attempt to restrain him further.
The officer twists the suspect’s arm behind his back and pushes him against a parked car at the side of the road.
One shocked onlooker shouts from behind the camera: ‘He is not resisting arrest though, mate.’
The police officer insists that he is and continues his restraint as the man screams in pain and continues to ask what he has done.
Sirens begin to blaze in the background as the officer waves down a squad car full of reinforcements.
Two other male officers rush toward the suspect and after a brief tussle, which is partially obscured, hurriedly bundle him onto the tarmac
But officers appear to grab at his face and pile on top of him with the suspect crying out in pain and complaining of leg pain
Two other male officers rush toward the suspect and after a brief tussle, which is partially obscured, hurriedly bundle him onto the tarmac.
Robyn furiously shouts from behind the camera: ‘What the f***. He’s f***ing punched him. Why did you punch him? Oh my f***ing days are you kidding me?’
The distressed man on the ground clutches the back of his head as he repeatedly says ‘I will come’.
But officers appear to grab at his face and continue to pile on top of him with the suspect crying out in pain and complaining of leg pain.
Other police colleagues then shout at Robyn to get back as she asks: ‘Why? He’s just punched him in the f***ing face. What have I done?’
More than seven officers eventually arrive to restrain the man who is then pinned to the floor as bystanders repeatedly ask why the officer ‘punched’ him.
More than seven officers eventually arrive to restrain the man who is then pinned to the floor as bystanders repeatedly ask why the officer ‘punched him in the face’
One of the police members then turns to onlookers and threatens to ‘lock them up’ and orders them to ‘keep walking’.
Another then tries to disperse the crowd as he says: ‘Do you know what he’s done? Let’s just say you wouldn’t want him around you kids’.
The man is eventually hauled into the back of a van and carted off as onlookers continue to argue with officers.
Support worker Robyn, from Bournemouth, said: ‘The level of aggression was disgusting.
‘It was the town centre on a sunny day, so it was really busy and there were children walking by.
‘Everyone was just looking like they were asking themselves if we were really watching this.
‘It all happened so quickly.
‘When more police officers turned up, that’s when the man was hit and we couldn’t believe what we were seeing. It was surreal.
Robyn Cummins, 34, recorded the incident on Saturday
‘The way the police officer was manhandling him was just aggressive and the other police officer got out of the car and hit him without a second thought, no questions asked.’
Robyn claims she had started filming the incident when she noticed a man being followed by a police officer and felt something wasn’t right.
She said: ‘He crossed over to my side of the street and the officer went to grab him without reading him his rights or offering any explanation.
‘I knew immediately that it wasn’t right, so I started filming.
‘If he was a shoplifter, obviously he should have been arrested but I don’t think that was the right way.
‘I don’t think people should be treated like that.
‘I just hope the man is alright. He told me his name and I’ve looked online to see if I can find out but I can’t find him anywhere.’
Superintendent Heather Dixey, from Christchurch and Poole Police, said: ‘We are aware of a five-minute video clip that is circulating on social media of an interaction involving officers and a man at around 3.15pm on Saturday 24 April 2021 on Old Christchurch Road in Bournemouth.
‘At around 3pm that day we were called to a report of theft of a number items from Superdry on Old Christchurch Road.
‘The video shows an officer who was in the process of detaining a man with a view to carry out a section 1 PACE search relating to the reported offence.
‘It is reported that the man resisted the officer by locking and tensing his arms preventing a search being carried out. The officer called for assistance from colleagues so the man could be detained safely.
‘Following the arrest, the man was released under investigation while enquiries continue.
‘When officers are faced with a non-compliant individual during an arrest, it is safer for a number of officers to deal with such an incident to ensure their own safety, as well as the individual’s.
‘These are trained and practised techniques. In the clip an officer is lawfully seen to strike the man to the upper arm to gain control as he was resisting arrest and was potentially violent.
‘The arrest has been reviewed, including the video clip posted online, body worn video footage from the officers who attended and any relevant CCTV, and it has been determined that no further action will be taken.
‘No complaint has been made to the Force by the individual involved.’