Manchester polygraph used in police case

A Manchester polygraph test could have helped police decide if a fellow police officer is guilty of misconduct with intent.

 The case

 A police officer who sprayed CS gas in a 13-year-old boy’s face during an arrest has been given a written warning.

The Greater Manchester Police officer was found to have breached standards of professional behaviour.

It follows a complaint from the child’s father in August 2020.

IOPC regional director Amanda Rowe said using the CS spray was “neither reasonable nor proportionate”.

“We can’t see any evidence that the boy was a threat to police or the public. The officer’s actions fall short of what we expect of our officers” she said.


The boy ran away from officers after a suspected exchange of drugs in a park in Moss Side, Manchester. The officers caught up with him and made two failed attempts to stop and search him.

One of the officers ran after him and used CS spray in the child’s face. The spray was used as he turned his head to look back while continuing to run away.

Disciplinary proceedings were arranged after an investigation by the IOPC found the officer had a misconduct case to answer.

The outcome

Firstly, greater Manchester Police gave the officer a written warning. Secondly, they gave a voluntarily referral to the watchdog from the force’s professional standards branch.

A spokeswoman said: “We remain committed to addressing any misconduct of any kind. We will take swift and robust action to ensure we maintain the confidence of the public we serve.”

Polygraph testing

To conclude, a polygraph test would have helped the Manchester police determine if the officer had intent to harm. With communities worrying that police are becoming more violent towards suspects a polygraph test would offer reassurance that the officer just misjudged the situation. On the other hand, Police are also opting for the option of polygraph testing to prove their behaviours had no alternative motives.

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