Police were justified in using PAVA spray on woman ‘acting violently’

An independent investigation report has found that police were justified in discharging PAVA spray during the arrest of a woman acting violently.

On Wednesday 6 May 2020 officers arrived at a disturbance at a flat in Paisley, involving several people breaching social distancing guidelines. They were threatened with violence by the 36-year-old householder.

During the woman’s arrest she struggled violently, injured one of the officers and made attempts to grab his PAVA spray, at which point the officer discharged the PAVA spray. With the assistance of other officers she was brought under control.

A 26-year-old man, who had earlier emerged from the flat and acted aggressively towards the officers, was also arrested after he made threats towards them.

The pair are both subject to a report to the procurator fiscal.

On 7 May, Police Scotland referred the incident to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC). PIRC’s investigation found that the discharge of the PAVA spray was justified, proportionate and necessary to prevent further injury to the officers and assist in bringing the incident to a safe conclusion.

Tags: PIRC

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