A policeman was repeatedly punched trying to arrest a suspect when her handcuffs failed after being tampered with in a suspected ‘parade ground prank’.
The potentially catastrophic act has been called ‘intolerable’ by angry force chiefs, who are determined to root out the culprit.
The perpetrator could face a prison sentence of up to two years if found guilty of breaching health and safety laws.
A Greater Manchester police officer was repeatedly punched trying to arrest a suspect when her handcuffs failed after being tampered with in a suspected ‘parade ground prank’
This is the latest disturbing example of policing culture amid misconduct cases against officers who shared offensive messages related to the murders of Sarah Everard and sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman.
The incident took place last month as the officer with Greater Manchester Police – in special measures after being branded a failing force – was on patrol in Salford.
According to a leaked internal message, she was ‘repeatedly punched’ while trying to arrest a suspect.
‘This assault would not have occurred had the officer’s handcuffs operated correctly,’ the memo goes on.
‘The officer was unable to apply the handcuffs as they had been intentionally tampered with by way of double locking.’
It is believed the handcuffs were locked closed, meaning they had to be unlocked before being used, resulting in a dangerous delay.
The memo adds the sabotaging of the cuffs ‘is strongly suspected to have been a “parade ground prank” by an unidentified colleague.’
But, alarmingly, it says this was ‘not an isolated incident’ in the district.
The police watchdog is investigating the conduct of 15 officers and one former officer linked to the Sarah Everard (pictured) case. This is the latest disturbing example of policing culture amid misconduct cases against officers who shared offensive messages related to the murders of Sarah Everard and sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman
The message, believed to be from a Police Federation official, went on: ‘I’m sure you will all be as shocked as I was to hear any police officer could ever think it’s funny to tamper with a colleague’s defensive equipment.
‘It’s issued to us for the sole purpose of keeping us safe.’
According to the memo, senior officers had not wanted any mention on the internal police system ‘for fear of it leaking and creating reputational damage’.
In a statement, the force said: ‘It is believed the cuffs had been tampered with and a senior officer spoke firmly and robustly to frontline officers to make clear such behaviour is completely intolerable.
‘The injured officer returned to work and is continuing to be supported by her supervisors.’
Officers were being warned ‘of the serious consequences of such behaviour’, it added.
The unnamed suspect is understood to have been subsequently jailed for assault.
The incident highlights the challenge facing Chief Constable Stephen Watson, who took over this year after watchdogs revealed the force had failed to properly record 80,000 crimes.
Source: Daily Mail UK