Case study: North Wales - gripped in a headlock

A North Wales PC was gripped in a headlock in an unprovoked attack which has made him more wary.

The officer was responding to a call for help from a colleague at the scene of a possible robbery. There were about 30 people gathered in a busy area. One person had been detained in a police car, and the officer and his colleagues carried out a search.

Without warning, another man attacked from behind, grabbing the officer in a headlock. He managed to struggle free and arrest the offender with the help of another officer.

“It was about 10 seconds, which might not seem that long – but when there are 29 other people witnessing what’s going on and not helping, it can seem like forever.”

He was later charged and convicted of assault on the officer and his colleague, but oddly only had to pay compensation to the other officer.

The PC said: “It’s not about the money, but it seems like because my assault didn’t leave visible marks, it wasn’t treated as seriously. It’s the principle of the conviction being made, but no punishment; I’ve definitely lost faith in the justice system a little.”

The attack has made the officer more cautious and to question his decisions. He said: “I blamed myself for letting it happen. We all get taught not to turn our backs on people, but whichever way I faced someone was behind me.”


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