Police have defended an officer after he was filmed slapping a 14-year-old girl in the face during an arrest. The teenager and a 52-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of assaulting police on Monday afternoon in Lancashire, after two officers had to be taken to hospital after the incident. However there was outrage after video surfaced showing a male police officer striking the teenager.
Responding to comments made after the clip went online, police said he situation was ‘very hostile’. A spokesperson added that the officer was ‘forced to use force’ as the female ‘attempted to grab his taser and radio’.
Chief Constable Andy Rhodes said: ‘I am aware of the mobile phone footage of this incident and have reviewed it personally. ‘My officers have responded as a result of a concerned member of the public and have been met by a very hostile situation. ‘As they’ve brought the situation under control officers have been assaulted and have received medical treatment as a result.
‘It is very easy to judge from the side lines without the full facts when you’ve never been in a similar situation yourself. ‘These are your police officers and they are here to keep you safe. They do not come to work to be assaulted and they have my full support.
‘Perhaps those filming the incident may have better used their time helping the officers to calm the situation.’ During the footage, a male and female officer attempt to restrain the teenager as a crowd screams ‘get off her’ before the male officer strikes. The crowd immediately respond with one shouting ‘this man’s smacking up a little girl… she was smacked… you are losing your job’.