Lancashire Police officer given written warning after threatening to 'make something up' to arrest man during lockdown

A Lancashire Police officer who threatened to "make something up" to arrest a man during lockdown has been given a written warning.

Monday, 30th August 2021, 12:37 pm
Updated Monday, 30th August 2021, 3:40 pm

It follows an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) into a tense stand-off between officers and a group of young men last April.

During the altercation, which was filmed on a mobile phone, an officer appeared to threaten to fabricate a charge to arrest one of the men.

The officer was filmed making the threat on April 17, 2020, during the first coronavirus lockdown, as police spoke to four men with a quad bike in Coach Road.

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The officer was filmed making the threat on April 17, 2020, during the first coronavirus lockdown, during an altercation with a young man riding a quad bike

In the footage, one of the young men is heard saying: “You’re harassing me, what for? I’ve done nothing wrong."

The officer replies: “Do you want me to show you the definition of harassment? Sit in the car and shut up!

"If you want to step to me and push your chest out and something like that then fine, I will lock you up. We'll do that shall we?

"I will make something up. Public order, squaring up to a police officer, shall I do that?

"Who are they going to believe, me or you?"

The shocking footage was widely circulated on social media and led to Lancashire Police suspending the officer from duty following an initial review by its Professional Standards Department.

In a public statement, the force described the officer's conduct as “completely unacceptable” and said it had apologised to the young man.

The force then escalated the matter by voluntarily referring the incident to the Independent Office for Police Conduct for further review.

The police watchdog has now confirmed that the officer has been given a written warning for misconduct after he was found to have breached professional standards.

At a misconduct meeting in May, he accepted breaching the standards of professional behaviour in respect of "integrity, discreditable conduct, authority, respect, courtesy and use of force".

During its investigation, the agency said it had obtained accounts from the two police officers involved in the incident, as well as the complainant and another man who was present during the confrontation.

Investigators also reviewed the mobile phone footage but said only part of the interaction between the police officer and the complainant was caught on camera.

It added that neither of the two police officers had been wearing body-worn video cameras at the time, which would have provided an independent account of the incident.

A spokesman for the IOPC said: "We found that when police arrived, they found themselves blocked by a van and a car.

"The complainant was one of four men present at the time who were requested to move the vehicles.

"Only part of the interaction between the police officer and the complainant was caught on camera.

“We found one officer had a case to answer for misconduct.

“At a misconduct meeting in May he accepted breaching the standards of professional behaviour in respect of: integrity, discreditable conduct, authority, respect and courtesy, use of force; and duties and responsibilities.

"He was given a written warning.

"The other officer whose conduct we investigated was found to have no case to answer."

The officer has since returned to duty following the conclusion of the IOPC investigation.