Case study: West Yorkshire - repeatedly hit in the head

PC Dan McLaughlin and PC Abi Jarvis braved a hostile crowd who taunted, hindered and assaulted them as they attempted to arrest an abusive man.

The officers were called to a residential address where a man was refusing to leave despite being asked to by his girlfriend. PC McLaughlin offered to drive him home but the man refused saying: “I’m not going and you can’t stop me.” He threatened to “come back and kick off” once the officers had left, so they had little option but to arrest him for a breach of the peace.

The man wrestled with PC McLaughlin and took hold of the officer’s radio and used it to hit him around the head several times. A hostile crowd gathered and started filming the incident on their phones. One took PC McLaughlin’s radio and they also tried to prevent PC Jarvis from applying leg restraints on to the man they were arresting.

Thankfully back-up arrived and the situation was brought under control. Afterwards, however, the incident played on PC McLaughlin’s mind. He said: “Before that I could go into a confrontation with no issues whatsoever. After this one incident if there was a mention of violence on the log I’d get butterflies and wonder ‘is this going to be the same scenario again’.”

PC McLaughlin said body worn video was extremely helpful in his case. He also supports the wider roll-out of Taser as a way of defusing potentially violent situations as well as tougher sentences for those who assault officers.

Main page - Assaults: Protect The Protectors