A police force has referred itself to the police watchdog after footage emerged which appears to show a man being assaulted by officers.

The footage shows officers restraining a man and using incapacitant spray.

West Midlands Police said officers were called to the scene by a doctor conducting a mental health assessment who was assaulted by a 38-year-old man with a metal crutch.

West Midlands Police acknowledged the video was shocking but described the film as "edited". It claims the man had injured three officers by attacking them with walking sticks and that the footage shared online "does not show events which led up to his restraint".

The 38-year-old was arrested on suspicion of assault and did not receive any injuries, police said. The man is currently being treated in a mental health facility.

Ch Supt Chris Todd said officers "do not underestimate the impact this video has on the public's confidence in policing".

"On first view, the video is really shocking and we need to understand the full context of what the officers were facing," he said.

IOPC regional director Derrick Campbell said the footage is "disturbing" and he is "conscious of the widespread concern" it has caused.

Body-worn video footage from officers will be reviewed during the investigation, he said, which will examine if force used by officers was justified and proportionate.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) confirmed it was investigating the incident. As well as the IOPC referral, West Midlands Police said it was consulting with key community members after acknowledging the video had generated concern.

Joanne Purvis, Director of SecuriCare says, “This is shocking. Cameras are a way of increasing transparency and accountability. I welcome increased scrutiny of such interventions...”

SecuriCare offer a range of courses designed to enable individuals to deal with all facets of conflict, aggression and violence. These include ‘personal safety’, ‘conflict management’, ‘dealing with challenging behaviour’ as well as our physical skills ‘Train the Trainers’ pathway

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