Use of CS spray on teenager in Londonderry ‘justified’ says Police Ombudsman

Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire. 'Picture Colm O'Reilly Presseye.
Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire. 'Picture Colm O'Reilly Presseye.

The PSNI was justified in using CS spray against a 17-year-old boy in Londonderry in February this year, the Police Ombudsman has concluded.

It occurred as officers arrested the juvenile who had been detained by a member of the public after breaking a shop window.

The officers said the youth became violent and screamed wildly when they tried to restrain him. They added that a crowd of youths had gathered nearby, and were concerned that if the situation continued, they would attack.

The officer who used CS spray said it allowed them to restrain the youth and apply handcuffs. A colleague said he too had drawn his CS spray but decided not to use it once he realised it had been used by his colleague.

The member of the public who reported the incident confirmed that the youth had been acting aggressively and resisting police.

Commenting on three separate incidents in Northern Ireland, Police Ombudsman, Dr Michael Maguire, said the officers involved were properly trained in the spray’s use and their actions had been lawful, necessary and proportionate.