Public Filming: York Incident
by TIM HICKS
In my article “Public filming: Minneapolis and North Yorkshire #3”, I made reference to a video clip of officers from North Yorkshire Police making an arrest as follows:
“Last week, the footage below concerning the arrest of an adult male in a public place in Scarborough by three police officers was forwarded to the NYE by a person concerned that the police had used excessive force to arrest him.
I have been unable to ascertain any more information about the full sequence of events prior to the video clip, so other than to say that this is the first time the NYE has had video of the police sent to it, I will not comment further. “
Correction and Update
The NYE’s policy is that whenever any error is pointed out, we always publish a correction as soon as possible.
As is my custom, I had asked for a media comment from North Yorkshire Police on the video footage.
The Office of the Chief Constable kindly forwarded a media statement to me and also confirmed that the incident happened in York, not Scarborough. Unfortunately, because of the NYE’s publishing schedule, the article was published before the statement was received.
The media statement is very clear and is reproduced in full below:
“Officers dealt with an incident in York city centre when a man was being abusive to members of the public. Officers initially attempted to disperse him from the area under a dispersal order, which had been put in place to assist with any reports of disorder on 4 July. The incident escalated and he was subsequently arrested. He has since been charged with assaulting a police officer and obstructing a police officer. He is due to appear in court on Monday 6 July.
We are aware of a video circulating on social media which captures only a few seconds of the incident.
It may be alarming to members of the public who have witnessed the use of force during the incident or seen the social media video, however we must reassure the public that the incident will be reviewed using the officer’s body worn video footage to ensure the use of force was proportionate and in line with training.
What the short clip does not show, is the full incident that the officers were dealing with. Importantly officers were wearing body-worn video which captures the preceding five minutes leading up to the man’s arrest. As the man has been charged with offences, we cannot go into more detail at this time.
The statement does vindicate my decision not to comment, because the full sequence of events was not available.
The fact that this video clip had extensive coverage on social media also reinforced the view I expressed in the article that the existence of mobile ‘phone technology and the internet will inevitably involve more occasions when the police are filmed by the public.
I have asked Chief Constable Winward for any further media statements on this matter, to keep the NYE’s readership up to date with developments on this incident and complete our coverage.