A POLICE watchdog has ruled that an officer's use of force during the arrest of a man in Hereford city centre was 'reasonable' and 'proportionate'.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation considered the circumstances of the man’s arrest, including the use of force by police, during an incident at 3.30am on November 27 2016 outside a food outlet on Commercial Road.

Mobile phone footage taken by a member of the public showed that, while officers were dealing with disorder in the city centre, an incident developed between the man and officers.

The man was arrested for assaulting a police officer, a charge which was later dropped, and sustained an injury to his face during the arrest which required hospital treatment.

One officer, who took the man to the ground and struck him, was subject to investigation by the IPCC.

The investigation examined all available social media and CCTV footage and gathered a number of witness statements and at the conclusion, in the investigator’s opinion, the officer had no case to answer for misconduct, and the arrest and use of force including the strikes used were necessary, reasonable and proportionate.

IPCC Associate Commissioner Guido Liguori said: “The attending officers found themselves in a volatile situation where they were outnumbered by a large crowd.

“A number of witnesses referred to items of food being thrown, and members of the public swearing and chanting at police.

“This was a fast-moving incident and the officer involved in the arrest said he identified the man as a potential threat, and arrested him in order to prevent harm to members of the public and other officers.”

The IPCC began an independent investigation following a referral by West Mercia Police in November 2016. A complaint was also made by the man in February 2017.

The IPCC referred the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) during the investigation, and the CPS determined there was insufficient evidence for a prosecution.