Man injured after officers distracted by using mobile phones

The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) has praised the “prompt action” of a Police Scotland inspector in issuing advice and guidance after a man was injured in police custody.

Dec 20, 2019
By Paul Jacques

A PIRC investigation found that the man, who was drunk, fell and cut his head in a police station after the two arresting officers became distracted while using their mobile phones.

“The 57-year-old fell off a bench he was sitting on in Motherwell police station, striking his head on the bench and floor, causing an injury above his left eye,” said the PIRC report.

It added that following the incident in the early evening of November 1, 2019, “the local police inspector took immediate action and both officers have since been given guidance on dealing with such situations”.

The inspector has also issued general guidance to staff in his command area about the importance of prisoner care.

The man had been arrested earlier for being drunk and incapable. After being assessed at hospital, he was passed fit to be detained in custody.

The PIRC investigation found that the two officers should have paid greater attention to the welfare of the man, since he was obviously intoxicated.

It added that had the officers not been distracted by using their personal mobiles, they may have prevented the man’s injury.

The man was taken back to hospital where he was treated for his injury, then returned to the police office. He was later released from custody and issued with a Recorded Police Warning.

The incident was referred by Police Scotland to the PIRC on November 2, 2019.

“As Police Scotland has already dealt with this matter, no recommendations are made,” said the PIRC.

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