CS spray use justified against juvenile in Magherafelt

A Police Ombudsman investigation has concluded that police were justified in using CS Spray against a 17-year-old boy who had thrown items at them and was attempting to use a fire extinguisher to break a window.

The incident happened in Magherafelt in July 2017 after police had been called by a man who said he had been assaulted by the boy.

Officers said that when they arrived the boy was behind the entrance door of a building. They said that when they opened the door to speak to him, he threw a number of objects at them before picking up a fire extinguisher which he then struck repeatedly against a window beside the door.

Officers said they warned him several times that if he did not stop they would use CS Spray against him. They then opened the door, at which point the boy threw the fire extinguisher, hitting one of the officers on the side.

Both officers then discharged CS Spray, which allowed them to enter the property and restrain the boy.

The incident was captured by the officers on body worn video, which confirmed their accounts of what happened, and the fact that they had given the boy appropriate after care following the use of CS Spray.

Enquiries also showed that both officers had been properly trained and authorised in the use of CS Spray.

The Police Ombudsman, Dr Michael Maguire, concluded that the use of CS Spray during the incident had been justified, proportionate and in accordance with police guidance.
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