In Bradford, a police officer who employed excessive force in restraining a man has been dismissed following a determination by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) that he had a case to answer for gross misconduct.

The IOPC conducted an examination of West Yorkshire Police’s handling of a complaint from a dissatisfied man regarding the level of force employed during his arrest. He claimed that an involved officer had applied force to his head.

While West Yorkshire Police concluded that the officer should face disciplinary proceedings for potential misconduct, which carries a maximum penalty of a final written warning, the IOPC believed that an independently chaired panel could conclude that his actions constituted gross misconduct.

The complaint stemmed from an incident in Bradford on 1st December 2021, when officers dealing with a disturbance urgently requested assistance from their colleagues.

PC Cameron Lindley, stationed in Bradford, was one of the responders at the scene, where officers were handling two members of the public.

He approached one of the men and assisted a colleague in bringing him to the ground. While the man was face down on the ground, being restrained by two officers, PC Lindley applied force to the man’s head with the sole of his boot.

A review aims to ascertain whether the force’s handling of a complaint is reasonable and proportionate. It does not involve a re-examination of the complaint itself.

Following the conclusion of the review, the IOPC notified West Yorkshire Police that, based on the evidence highlighted in the investigator’s report, they disagreed with the finding that PC Lindley’s actions may amount to misconduct. The IOPC recommended disciplinary proceedings for gross misconduct, and the force concurred.

At a misconduct hearing, organised by WYP and concluded today (21st September), the independently chaired panel determined that PC Lindley violated the police standards of professional behaviour in relation to: use of force; authority, respect and courtesy; and discreditable conduct. They concluded that his actions constituted gross misconduct, and he was dismissed without notice. Consequently, he is barred from future employment in policing.

IOPC Head of National Operations Sunny Bhalla said: “Police officers routinely put themselves in harm’s way to protect members of the public and can use reasonable force if required to do that.

“However, they must use the minimum force necessary in the situation and be able to justify their actions. PC Lindley’s actions were dangerous, excessive and at odds with the training provided to police officers.

“While the vast majority of complaints are dealt with by police forces, the review system ensures complainants who are unhappy with the outcome can have their case independently scrutinised. Although we felt this complaint was thoroughly investigated, we disagreed with the proposed outcome and our input has ensured PC Lindley has been held fully accountable for his actions that day.”