BYRON ARREST: Police feared for their safety
Update 1.16pm: TWEED Byron Police District officers who used rough tactics during an arrest in Byron were worried for their own safety, according to police authorities.
Video footage posted on social media showed an altercation between police and a young woman who was under arrest near the Wreck in Byron Bay on Monday.
In the video, the woman fell to the ground became unconscious while police tried to walk her up a flight of stairs, which led to many loud reactions from onlookers.
Tweed Byron Police District Superintendent Wayne Starling said police acted in self-defence when the woman allegedly tried to bite a female officer during the arrest.
"Police were forced to arrest a female, as they were walking the female up a flight of stairs, the female lashed out and tried to bite the female police officer and as result she was pushed to the ground," Supt Starling claimed.
"The footage didn't look the best for police at the time but when you dissect the footage by each frame of the broadcast, you'll see that the police acted in self-defence at the time.
"The girl on the ground lost consciousness for a few seconds, once she regained consciousness she struck out at police.
"Once they were in the ambulance a short time later, she actually spat at an ambulance officer."
This is the second incident to emerge in two weeks that has cast doubt on the police and how they conduct arrests, following another video posted to social media of a teenager who was beaten by Byron police during arrest.
But Supt Starling said while he had full confidence in his police, was more concerned for the welfare of his command and the community if the drug problem escalates further.
"We've had a bad run lately in relations to drugs and I have serious concerns that one of my police or one of the community police will be seriously injured if the community doesn't start to stand up and address the drug problem," he said.
"In the last 12 months we've had 171 police within the command assaulted, 44 police at Byron Bay and of those 44 police that were assaulted in Byron Bay each one of those was associated with drugs or alcohol.
"We've also had in the last six months, 15 mentally ill people who have been aggressive
"The concern they have is that they're going to be injured.
"At the moment I have 30 police that cant strap on a gun, 15 of those police have physical injuries and they come to work each day, many of them have slings, many of them broken bones and several have black eyes at different times.
"That's the community they're policing at the moment.
"Unfortunately, I have concerns between now and retirement one of those police will not be going home to their families."
Supt Starling said he was confident the police involved in Monday's arrest acted in the best interest of the woman, the public and officers involved, who are now facing an independent investigation over the incident.
"I have nothing but complete confidence in relation to all of the police under my command," he said.
"I believe they've acted appropriately under the circumstances. From what I've seen, I'm happy with the actions of all the police officers involved however, we're accountable to the community.
"If we do the wrong thing, we deserve whatever happens."
"We're not there to hurt people, we're there to protect people and at times we've got to protect people from themselves and that's what we're trying to do lately."
The 21-year-old woman was granted conditional bail to front Byron Bay Local Court on charges of affray, assault police, assault ambulance officer and offensive conduct.
Update, 7.30am: A WOMAN who allegedly tried to bite a female police officer will face court next month.
It's alleged the woman tried to bite a female officer who had to use her self-defence training to avoid injury.
Police charged the 18-year-old after she was released from Byron Central Hospital, where she was taken for observation after an altercation on Byron Bay's main beach on Monday afternoon.
She was granted conditional bail to front Byron Bay Local Court on charges of affray, assault police, assault ambulance officer and offensive conduct.
A 21-year-old man who tried to intervene in incident was also arrested by police in a nearby street and arrested.
He was taken to Byron Bay Police Station where he was charged with affray, two counts of assault police and hinder police.
He was given conditional bail and is also due to appear in Byron Bay Local Court next month.
Update, 10pm: CHARGES are expected to be laid on two people involved in an altercation with police at a Byron Bay beach.
Police allege a drunk woman tried to bite a female police officer, who was arresting the woman for offensive behaviour on Monday afternoon.
As the woman was being arrested for offensive behaviour, police said a man also tried to intervene.
In a statement, NSW Police said the female officer had to use self-defense to avoid injury while arresting the woman.
The woman suffered an injury and was taken to Byron Bay Hospital, under police guard, for precautionary medical checks and later released.
The altercation came shortly after police were called to a Byron Bay beach to reports of intoxicated people being disruptive in a pre-existing alcohol free zone.
Police said they spoke to a number of people to identify those involved and approached a woman, who was intoxicated.
It's alleged that the woman began behaving aggressively towards the police after officers searched the woman's bag and disposed of the remains of a bottle of alcohol.
The man has since attended Byron Bay Police Station where he was arrested.
ORIGINAL STORY: BYRON Bay police are under fire again because video footage has emerged of officers appearing to employ rough tactics in the arrest of a young woman at the beach.
The footage, posted to Facebook by Jaicey Revelle, shows a male and female police officer detaining a woman near the Wreck at Byron Bay.
As the woman is led up stairs a male friend intervenes and she falls to the ground as police grab her.
The woman stumbles and appears to be unconscious in the footage.
Onlookers react badly to police tactics in the video, with a male friend of the woman pepper-sprayed as he confronts police.
There are calls in the video of police to "get off her" and "you've punched her" and "you need to call the ambulnace, she's unresponsive.
Police were contacted regarding the incident, but were unable to comment at the time of publishing.