Chief constable orders probe into viral video of police incident

Iain Livingstone says officers responded 'proportionately' as three were charged with threatening and abusive behaviour.

Chief constable orders probe into viral video of police incident STV News

Scotland’s chief constable has ordered an investigation into the circumstances surrounding a confrontation between police officers and the occupants of a property in Aberdeen.

Speaking at the government’s daily coronavirus briefing, Iain Livingstone said he had been briefed after a video of the incident was widely shared on social media.

Police had visited the property after receiving reports of a house party.

The footage appears to show a confrontation between officers and people inside a property, with a woman swearing at the police and telling them to leave after one of them enters.

Children can be heard screaming as the confrontation seemingly becomes physical, and the camera being used to film the incident drops to the ground.

Three arrests were made on Wednesday evening over alleged violence and disorder in relation to the incident.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We received a report of an ongoing party in breach of coronavirus regulations at a property on Fonthill Road, Aberdeen, around 11.20pm on Wednesday, January 6, 2021.

“Officers attended and two women (aged 18 and 48) and a 43-year-old man were charged in connection with assaulting police officers and threatening and abusive behaviour and will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal.”

Mr Livingstone said he believes police responded proportionately when they attended the property upon receiving reports of a party, while also urging people to be cautious when viewing such footage.

He said: “As things stand at this time, I’m satisfied about the legitimacy and the proportionality of the police response.”

Mr Livingstone also said he was limited in what he could say for legal reasons, adding: “Police did respond to concerned calls from members of the public about what appeared to be an ongoing house party.

“Officers then attended at the address that had been identified and at that time spoke to the occupants.

“Now what’s come out of those circumstances is that three adults have been charged with crimes of violence and crimes of public disorder.”

Saying the incident was also recorded by police body cameras, the chief constable continued: “I would urge everybody to exercise caution when you see a partial coverage of a particular incident.

“Do not read into things that you can’t see and do not make inferences that are not clearly there.

“I don’t think it’s fair to everybody involved and it does generate concern which may not be legitimate.”

Mr Livingstone said John Scott QC, the human rights lawyer who is reviewing Police Scotland’s use of new coronavirus powers, will also look into the incident.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said in general, “all of us these days know that we have to take some care when looking at things on social media, just remembering that things often don’t look exactly as the reality is”.

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