WILTSHIRE Police have defended the actions of a police officer after a video shared on Facebook showed him striking a suspect in the face while he was pinned to the ground.

At around 7.30pm on Wednesday evening, a 23-year-old man was being arrested by officers outside the Freshbrook Village shops.

A member of the public, Ryan Hall, decided to film the events on his mobile phone, in a short clip of proceedings which had lasted for some time longer.

The suspect is shown being pinned down onto the ground by a male officer and a female officer, before moving his face towards the male officer who was attempting to read him his rights.

While the arresting officer was attaching handcuffs to the suspect he is seen lifting his face up and towards him.

At this point the male officer is shown landing a blow with an open palm into the face of the suspect while he was being restrained by the two officers.

The arresting officer is heard to say: “You spat at one of my colleagues once, you will not do it again.”

Two other officers then join their colleagues in apprehending the suspect and taking him into custody.

Following the incident, the 23-year-old male from the Swindon area was arrested for the charges of assaulting an officer in the execution of his duty and resisting arrest.

He has now been released on police bail and referred to appear in court next month.

Wiltshire Police said they are unable to comment in detail in regard to the events due to the fact that proceedings against the individual are currently underway.

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “This video was filmed by a member of the public during an arrest made at Freshbrook Village shops, Swindon, at 7.30pm on Wednesday 16th July 2014.

“The male arrested has subsequently been charged with assaulting a Police Officer in the execution of his duty and resisting arrest.

“Due to legal proceedings now being active, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

The video has been shared more than 400 times since it was uploaded online on Wednesday.