We are reviewing an incident in which a boy aged 12 received a head injury on the riverside in Bristol.
Officers were called to a report that a woman had struck a child with a paddle near Conham River Park at about 3pm on Saturday 26 March.
There was an investigation at the time which included police attendance, taking statements from the child and an adult family friend and viewing phone footage from after the incident.
An arrest was made by the attending officers, but the individual was then de-arrested once officers had their name and address. This was in line with Police and Criminal Evidence Act guidelines (which say officers must consider alternatives other than arrest whenever practical). The person was later formally interviewed at a police station.
A realistic prospect of a conviction (that it was more likely than not for a jury to convict after hearing the case from both prosecution and defence point of view) was not made out from the available evidence following the investigation and all parties were updated that there would be no further action.
When police decide not to prosecute, victims have a right to request that a review is completed by an officer not previously involved in the case.
Since becoming aware of the injured boy’s family’s concerns through social media this week, officers have been in touch with them and initiated a review. We will maintain that contact with the family as the review progresses.
This review will be carried out by an experienced detective sergeant, with oversight from a senior officer. It is being monitored by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) and the intention is to identify appropriate independent scrutiny so that our communities can have confidence in the outcome.
We’re aware that a number of people were in that area of the riverside that afternoon. We’re keen to hear from anyone who witnessed the original incident, or who may have phone or other footage which could help. Please get in touch.