West Yorkshire Police officer struck man’s head with his boot during arrest

Published: 21 Sep 2023

A police officer who used excessive force during the restraint of a man in Bradford has been dismissed after the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) determined he had a case to answer for gross misconduct.

We carried out a review of West Yorkshire Police’s handling of a complaint from a man who was unhappy about the level of force used to arrest him. He alleged that an officer involved had stamped on his head.

While WYP determined the officer should face disciplinary proceedings for potential misconduct, which carries a maximum sanction of a final written warning, we felt that an independently-chaired panel could find his actions amounted to gross misconduct.

The complaint followed an incident in Bradford on 1 December 2021, when officers dealing with a disturbance called for urgent support from colleagues.

PC Cameron Lindley, who was based in Bradford, was among those to arrive at the scene, where officers were dealing with 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.

The purpose of a review is to determine if the force’s handling of a complaint is reasonable and proportionate. It is not a reinvestigation of the complaint itself.

On conclusion of the review, we informed WYP that, based on the evidence highlighted in the investigator’s report, we disagreed with the finding the PC Lindley’s actions may amount to misconduct. We recommended disciplinary proceedings for gross misconduct and the force agreed.

At a misconduct hearing, which was arranged by WYP and concluded today (21 September), the independently-chaired panel found PC Lindley breached the police standards of professional behaviour in respect of: use of force; authority, respect and courtesy; and discreditable conduct. They found his actions amounted to gross misconduct and he was dismissed without notice. As a result, he has been barred from working in policing in future.

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.”

  • West Yorkshire Police
  • Use of force and armed policing