CHIEF Constable Andy Rhodes says officers used 'reasonable force' to detain a 14-year-old girl in Accrington.

An investigation has been launched after a video showing a police officer seemingly slap a teenage girl as he tried to restrain her was shared on social media.

In the video, two officers used what police called 'restraint techniques' to hold back the girl at Accrington Market at 5.45pm.

Chief Constable Rhodes said: "Police officers were flagged down by a member of the public who reported that a large number of youths were fighting at the Market Hall on Peel Street.

"As the officers dealt with the incident they used reasonable force to bring the situation under control.

"This involved the use of an open hand strike when a 14-year-old female attempted to grab the officer's taser and radio. 

"She was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer. She has been interviewed and has since been referred to the Youth Offending Tea.

"A 52-year-old female was also arrested at the scene for assaulting a police officer and is still in custody."

A Lancashire Police spokesman later said officers were trained to use restraint techniques which 'may look shocking to untrained onlookers'.

A 14-year-old girl and a 52-year-old woman were arrested following the scuffle.

Chief Constable Rhodes added: "I am aware of the mobile phone footage of this incident and have reviewed it personally.

"My officers have responded as a result of a concerned member of the public and have been met with a very hostile situation.

"As they've brought the situation under control officers have been assaulted and have received medical treatment as a result.

Lancashire Telegraph:

"It is very easy to judge from the sidelines without the full facts when you've nevery been in a similar situation yourself. These are your police officers and they are here to keep you safe.

"They do not come to work to be assaulted and they have my full support."

Two officers were taken to hospital following the arrests - one for treatment for a bite wound to her arm and another for cuts to his head.

The video has already been viewed more than 2.3million times on Facebook.

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: "We are aware of a video circulating on social media which shows a young woman being restrained by officers in Accrington town centre.

"As a result of this incident, one officer sustained a bite wound to her arm and another suffered a cut to his head.

"We understand this footage may appear concerning, however officers are trained to use restraint techniques which may look shocking to untrained onlookers.

"A full investigation into the circumstances surrounding this incident will take place in due course."