Wiltshire Chief Constable Pat Geenty has released a statement about the release of CCTV footage shown during the trial of PC Lee Birch, who was acquitted of assault and misconduct yesterday. 

PC Birch still faces an Independent Police Complaints Commission inquiry over his conduct.

Chief Cons Geenty said: "Following a six day trial at Bristol Crown Court, yesterday PC Birch was found not guilty of assault and misconduct in a public office. 

"The jury had considered all the evidence of the case, including but not confined to, CCTV footage.

"Wiltshire Police absolutely support the fundamental need for openness and transparency.

"However, this case is subject of an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) managed investigation and, as chief constable, I am responsible for my officers’ welfare and to help ensure that this process is fair to all involved.

"Therefore, I objected to the release of the CCTV as it is my judgement that the publication of the footage could potentially be prejudicial to this process.

"The CCTV only gives the viewer a ‘snapshot’ of evidence in the case, and it is my view that there is a risk that this evidence distributed in isolation without the proper context could result in prejudice to the ongoing misconduct investigation.

"As the IPCC investigation has commenced it would not be appropriate to make further comments on the case at this time."