POLICE jumped into a swimming pool in their uniforms to remove a man causing a disturbance before handcuffing him on the pool side.
Shocked visitors to the Littledown Centre in Bournemouth watched in amazement as the two officers waded half a length of the pool to pull the man from the water at 6.30pm on Tuesday before handcuffing him and using limb restraints on his legs.
Staff members and other pool users were on hand to help remove the man from the shallow end but police later concluded no offence had been committed.
Chief Inspector Chris Weeks of Bournemouth police confirmed officers had been called to the centre following a report of a disturbance.
He added: “Dorset Police responded to a report of an aggressive male shouting and swearing in a public place.
“There were concerns for members of the public as this incident was taking place in a public swimming pool.
“The officers in attendance were faced with a potentially high-risk environment to work in where positive action was essential to prevent a breach of the peace.
“When the officers tried to remove the man from the pool, he was very aggressive.
"On removing the man from the pool he had to be handcuffed to the front. He tried to kick out with his legs requiring the officers to apply limb restraints. The officers acted appropriately at all times using Home Office approved methods and equipment.”
He said swift action was taken to remove the man from the pool but said no further action was taken following inquiries. The man was taken home.
Colette Kiernander, general manager at the Littledown Centre, said: “There was an incident, which is currently being reviewed.
“Employees monitored the situation closely at all times in accordance with our procedures and I’d like to thank them and the authorities for their assistance.”
One spectator at the pool, Sharese Taylor, sent the Echo video footage she took of the incident.
Footage posted by Sharese Taylor on YouTube
One onlooker has told the Daily Echo she believes the man was unfairly treated by Littledown staff and the police.
She said: “A man did indeed have unacceptable threatening behaviour to a bunch of young boys who were splashing around him and potentially being a nuisance. They did not deserve the abuse the man threw at them.
“What followed was farcical – four police cars, an entourage of police and members of the general public filling every window available.
“We need to be much more supportive and open with people who are clearly distressed.
“At no time did I see him hit out. I fully believe this man would have been OK to continue his swim.”
Dorset Police declined to confirm how many officers attended the scene.
Edit: this story was changed on October 4 to correct the suggestion in Chief Inspector Chris Weeks quotes that the man was handcuffed in the pool.