A report from the PIRC said the man became verbally abusive after his demands for a full weekend’s supply of methadone were refused by pharmacy staff last month (May 8).
The man left the pharmacy but returned a short time later, at which point he “spat and coughed at” at one member of staff, the report said. He was then removed from the premises by a member of the public, whom he “threatened to shoot”.
The man also threatened to burn down the pharmacy and ignored social distancing guidelines during the incident. When police officers arrested the man, he told them he had COVID-19, the report outlined.
“Proportionate and necessary”
The case was referred to the PIRC by Police Scotland on 11 May, as the man was injured after his arrest. The PIRC report said the man deliberately struck his head on a seat in the police van, incurring a cut on his forehead, before he “struck his head with handcuffs, further injuring himself”.
“The man was taken to hospital, where officers put on full COVID-19 personal protective equipment before entering the hospital. Following treatment to a cut on his forehead, the man was released into police custody,” the report said.
The PIRC investigation looked at the police response to the incident under COVID-19 restrictions and procedures and found that the man’s behaviour was “extremely concerning and distressing for the pharmacy staff and arresting officers”.
The investigation concluded that the man’s injuries, sustained after he was arrested, were self-inflicted and that the officers’ response was “proportionate and necessary”.