Sheffield MP says video of Sheffield Wednesday fan smashed on head with baton causes ‘deep concern’
A Sheffield MP has issued a statement on the incident involving a teenage boy suffering a head injury after being struck by a police officer using a baton.
The 16-year-old Sheffield Wednesday fan was struck by an officer as fans made their way from Oakwell stadium in Barnsley towards the town’s interchange after Barnsley and Wednesday’s 1-1 draw on Saturday afternoon.
The baton strike, which was recorded on a mobile phone and shared online, left the teenage boy with a gaping head wound and covered in blood.
South Yorkshire Police said the incident has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
Sheffield Heeley MP and Shadow Policing Minister Louise Haigh said: “This video has understandably caused deep public concern in Sheffield and the wider area, and a referral should be made to the IOPC.
“It is right in order to uphold public confidence, that the incident now be investigated entirely independently of South Yorkshire Police.”
South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, has also issued a statement on the incident, in which he said the county’s police force ‘will be held to account’.
He said: “The public can be assured that I will be listening very carefully to what the Chief Constable reports and that the force will be held to account.”
Assistant Chief Constable Lauren Poultney, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “We understand the public will have concerns about the content of a video circulating on social media, with a 16-year-old suffering injuries to his head.
“South Yorkshire Police has referred this matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct and we are waiting for their decision as to how this is progressed.“As part of the investigation into the wider disorder following the football match on Saturday 8 February, a full review of all available footage will be undertaken. “The clip circulating on social media shows only a very brief period of time, and in order to understand the full context of the situation, we would ask anyone who was a witness or has further footage of what took place to contact us.”